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Perhaps

The slanting light of a drowsy sun glints on a clear blue, reflecting images on the plastic of inflatable pool rafts. They hang heavy in the water, most of the air having already been squashed out of them from yesterday’s guests. I can recall only a fraction of these visitors, wandering now as ghosts along the patio while the memory replays, pressed upon a different setting. True, the distance between the pools edge and umbrella-shaded seating has not changed, but the strategically placed tables overflowing with food and the band with their rhythmic songs played from copper-colored instruments and the night, which somehow governed each of these, have all been replaced. It is now a different place, as though environment is made solely by the identity of its inhabitants. Perhaps it is.
I step carefully on the square stone, noting the fragment of a popped balloon that lies near my right foot and the teal-green of it’s skin. Instinctively, I search for its brothers, tied to fence posts and railings and the metal bars extended from iron lamps, which were once the style for lighting sidewalks in the Victorian age but have now found themselves reduced to pool décor magazines. I see with relief that a few balloons have survived the massacre, though they slouch close to the ground as if their appointed jobs of retaining an upright posture only applied to the previous night. I take a couple more steps, navigating tipped soda cans and abandoned napkins that have somehow transformed into trash since their purchase at the grocery store. I did not buy trash, did I? But they are certainly trash now, within one day of being considered simply napkins. I wonder if that could apply to people. Perhaps it can.
Past the rounded tables supporting items forgotten in last nights confusion, down the wooden steps ridden with pointy ended splinters, onto the grass now driven into the earth by crowded feet, stands my mother in a disarray. I wander between the string-strewn bushes that flank the stairs on either side, seeing in the hanging threads some feeling of defeat, of weary death and forlorn thoughts. I cringe descending the scratched stairs that hide nails from their construction in the depths of wood. One toe is on the grass when she turns,
“Kira, kira, no don’t walk there!” I withdraw the toe and look up at the loops below her eyes. Every part of the party has tired her, from its very idea to its end. Her morose posture as she turns to explain makes the colors seep toward gray somehow, and I draw still further back from this place.
“Someone broke a glass, you can’t walk here with bare feet.”
I spare a glance at the ground where twinkling shards suggest the catastrophe, widen my gaze to the littered drinks and off course Frisbees, the overturned chairs, and unwired speakers, and no longer recognize the curve of the ground beneath them or this place or this dread. It doesn’t feel like home with my mother exhausted among a great wreckage. Perhaps it isn’t.
It’s as though ‘party’ is a word to disguise human nature. Perhaps it is.




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