I was as certain as God sacrificing his son. Undoubtedly, directly in front of me, two children swung on swings. Forgive the narration of their tiny figures in tiny crucified positions, dying for each other’s sin, but I feel full detail is important. Their left and right hands, respectively, were entangled in a chain link monotony that ran from ass to heaven. You know the type, so thin snowy roads would yield four of them for front, back, left, and right, respectively. Well really, only if the driver had no regard for the path he traveled, for lack of caring about cracked gravel.
They giggled and laughed and laughed and giggled. The boy swung on the left, constantly rubbing a runny nose. He was the type of child who would scream in a grocery store for hours, I could tell just by his look And the guff he had welled up inside, yes, no doubt, I knew his type. The girl was the little angel atop a green fir, but only between mid november and early december, before the fir could grow old and let brown needles supplant green.
I had slung a camera around my neck early after the sun had woke. A promise to myself to save this day in moments, and fragments, and figments timed to an inner radio of four second clips. Now in front of me, they swung as daylight was impaled upon a jagged ledge of pine. Leaving a trail of black and blood to the atmosphere above.
The boy turned her way as if to smile and say “I have something important to state.” I jumped from my station. I shouted at the top of my lungs. I stood perfectly still, and waited. She responded with a giggle. The sort which bounced off granite mountains, bringing old men crashing downwards, and was drowned out by night time’s destruction of day.
I shook my head in disbelief and the camera chafing my neck agreed. I meandered to their cross, as nonchalantly as bending grass. I pulled a pack of turkish tobacco from my left breast pocket, respectively. Then came the thin paper to accompany me. I looked their way, and leaned against the tree with a sign bearing three nails, warning the status quo to KEEP OFF! FRESHLY PLANTED! LET IT GROW!.
I dodged my eyes between work and their gravity controlled speed as I rolled my spear of sweet release. Two fingers on either side forced to stay still until they formed an cylindrical cone. Giggle and laugh. Drop the nicotine right in the center. Laugh and giggle. Roll it up halfway and give a good solid swipe with your tongue. Now finish the job you’ve begun. Giggle and giggle. I put the cigarette in my mouth and with a heretic’s ease, lit a match to flame and pulled a flame towards me.
They stopped swinging and stared. I breathed in nice and slow, enjoying the soft punch of nicotine’s blow. Releasing the smoke I held within, I turned toward them. I pulled out a store bought pack and offered one to each. The girl shook her hair covered dome with the simplicity of a thrown stone. The boy just curled his lips back in a guttural look of disgust. I withdrew the cigarette box.
The camera around my neck lay buried in the open air as I squatted before them, positioned like a Pontius Pilate offering Barabbas instead of Jesus for execution. I knew they wouldn’t listen to reason, but I needed to explain what it was they faced as clocks became calendars and crowns became thorns. I puffed smoke over my left shoulder, turned till my face split their gaze, and with the revulsion of a nicotine shred left on the tongue, I spat with syllables at their fingers entwined in chain links, “I’ve never seen anything as ugly as that, and I’ve seen a great many things.”