Essay

Running, Laughing, Leading [Flash Fiction]

[All words in quotes herein are verbatim from the lips of their speaker to the ears of this teller.]

“My boy’s running with other boys in the park by our home next to Gravesend Bay,” he said, not out loud, under his breath, to feel the weight of the words on his tongue, he used to say, why he would read poetry out  loud, long passages from novels out loud, move his lips when he read nearly silently, again, under his breath.

“He is running, laughing, leading other boys, not the tallest from among them but heads above every one of them,” he says, has said before in the kitchen, in the living room, in the bedroom or the bathroom, a man, a father, of course like all fathers and yet–need I say, unlike other fathers. What father does not know he is like and unlike every other father?

Children here, running here; children there, running there, everywhere here and there, to and fro, back and forth and forth again before back once more.  All around the children’s playground inside the park.

“I see two pigeons on the top of the back of a bench at a table in the park empty but for these two pigeons,” he says.

He pauses.

“I do not relive my childhood watching the children play in the park,” he says; I add, this after-school afternoon sometime in late March, not too chilly, “will warm up quickly this spring you can tell,” he says. “No, I do not relive my childhood here,” he says, “but I do regret my age,” he says.

 

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