ASHES

by Harold Abramowitz

I took a walk in the alley. I turned, thinking that I would see you standing next to me. It

was funny. I thought there was going to be a fight. I wanted to ask you a question. I put

my hands out. I thought about a million different things at one time. I took another long

walk. I tried to find something that I’d lost on the ground. I was certain that something

was going to happen. But what was going to happen? I kind of needed to know. I put

my hands out. You were growing up very quickly. It was a brand new day. I put my

hands out. I had to keep still. It was a more or less ordinary day. There was nothing

special about the day, at that point. I looked up and down the street. I tried to get a good

idea of where I was standing. I wanted to ask you a question. It was morning. We took

a walk and talked to each other. I was going to ask you a question right before you

started talking to me. I put my hands out. Unexpectedly, I had to steady myself. I stood

on the street, near the alley. I put my hands out. We stood very near the alley. There

was something I wanted to say to you. I put my hands out. The day was cold. I put my

hands out. It was a golden morning. It was going to be a very beautiful day. You put

your hands out. I stood on the street, right next to the alley. I wore a long coat. I asked

you how long you had lived in that part of the city. You could see me from where you

were sitting on the couch in the living room. I had waited a long time for just the right

moment. In fact, it was a perfect opportunity. I put my hands out. I asked you a

question. I was able to keep very still, at that point. There was something I wanted to

ask you about. I put my hands out. The morning was cold. I stood in the alley and

waited for you to come home.

~

It was funny. It was like I could hear everything you were thinking, at that point. I

turned and told you that it was like I could hear everything you were thinking. It was

funny. I put my hands out. I looked at the sky. We knew each other very well, at that

point, I thought. It was funny. We sat on the chairs in the garden. There was a song

playing on the radio. I asked you if I could come over. I wanted to come over. It was

funny. I was still not quite awake. I wondered what we were going to do that evening. It

was funny. I liked the song that was playing on the radio. It was funny. We were

thinking exactly the same thing at the same time. And I could have said just about

anything I wanted to, at that point. I was feeling a little bit frustrated. There was

something I wanted to ask you about. I put the music out of my mind. There were very

many things we needed to discuss. I looked around the room. I wanted to ask you a

question. It was a very nice day. The day outside was very bright. I could see you from

where I was standing in the hall. I put my hands out. It had been a very long day. It was

funny. It was getting later and later, at that point. I was feeling a little bit frustrated. I

wanted to ask you a question. It was going to be a beautiful day. There was something I

wanted to ask you about. I put my hands out.

~

I was waiting for you. It was a bright and beautiful morning. I put my hands out. I was

going to say. I was going to tell you. There was something big coming on the horizon.

You wanted to ask me a question. If I were to wake up early enough in the morning to

eat breakfast, I thought. I could see that we were not going to get a lot done that day. I

put my hands out. The sun rose over the canyon. It was a question of privacy, at that

point. There was a bird in the tree in the garden. I saw that it was going to be a very

beautiful day. There was much to think about. There were very many things to consider,

at that point. I put my hands out. I put my shoes on. I could see you from where I was

standing in the hall. I couldn’t hear myself think. I wanted to ask you a question. I put

my hands out. I was sure that the world was going to explode, at that point. I was sure

that there was going to be explosions and hands and arms flailing. And this was the

world, I thought. It was a real part of me, too, I thought. It was like I was standing in a

corner. I was not going to let myself think of anything more important than that, I

thought. I put my hands out. Yet I was in charge of that moment of the day as surely as I

was in charge of anything else, I thought. Like I was in a circle. I couldn’t believe in a

cloud, though. Could you believe in a cloud? I wanted to ask you a question. I was

feeling a little bit frustrated. I put my hands out. We were never wrong. You said as

much, too. You said that it had been a long day, and that we only ever made matters

worse. It was funny. I wished that I had a plum, something healthier than what I had

been eating, for breakfast, at that point. The summer was going to be warm and

beautiful, I thought.

~

It was going to be a very beautiful day. I put my hands out. It was summer. If I looked

across the canyon, at that point, I might see a million little boats in the sky, I thought.

You said that you were not going to complain, that complaining only made matters

worse. I only asked that things be kept in good order, I said. Everything was going to

happen in due time, I thought. There was no question of running late, of making a mess,

you said. It would not have occurred to me to challenge the way we were doing things, at

that point. You sat on the chair in the kitchen. I put my hands out. The sun shone

brightly in the sky. It was a brand new day. I wondered what we were going to do that

evening. It was funny. The day was brand new. I looked across the canyon. There was

definitely something new in the air, I thought. It was summer, a brand new season. The

sun shone brightly above the canyon. There was definitely something new in the air, I

thought. I wanted to ask you a question. I put my hands out. You wanted to ask me a

question. There was a song playing on the radio. I put my hands out. I was in the house.

The day was going well, at that point. Things were going well, in general, I thought, at

that point. I felt good. I pointed my finger at the sky. I wanted to ask you a question. I

put my hands out.

~

The sun rose over the canyon. You stopped what you were doing and asked me a

question. I thought that I’d put my best foot forward, at that point. I put my hands out. It

was going to be a very beautiful day. In the meantime, time was going by very quickly, I

thought. I could have done a lot of things differently, at that point, I thought. I took the

ring off my finger. I had begun to look at the canyon in a very different way. You said

that you agreed with the way I felt about the canyon, at that point. It was going to be a

very beautiful day. I put my hands out. I wanted to ask you a question. I looked at the

scar on my stomach. I could see you from where I was standing in the hall. You were

something of a fixture in that town. It was hard to think of asking you to move, at that

point. However, I took the coward’s way out. I was feeling a little bit frustrated. I felt

good. I was in the middle of the house. It was a brand new day. I took another long

walk. I pointed the shovel at the ground. You smiled at me. It had been a very nice day

all around the canyon. It was a brand new day. You looked at me. It was like the very

first day all over again, like the world was brand new. However, I was concerned that

you might have felt a little bit   trapped, at that point. It was a brand new day. I wanted to

ask you a question. We drove the car to the edge of the canyon. I put my hands out.

NOTE

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