He feeds the ravenous seagulls down beside the lake, shares his lunch hour with people that most other people disregard. He thinks about Richard, living alone in his shack made of watermelon sugar, thinks about Robert risking his life by having his teeth cleaned without the benefit of antibiotics. He thinks about his own heart, murmuring unsteadily in his chest; about the problems of becoming older and colder in a land that rewards youth and warmth; about being fat and lazy in a place that values only fitness and ambition.
Today he listens to the radio and watches a freshwater iceberg circling around in the current where the lake flows out into the river, flows north toward Canada, where the iceberg seems particularly unwilling to go but seems equally and inevitably destined to be.
When he gets home, before it gets dark, he remembers the seagulls and the iceberg but he only tells her about the iceberg. When he tells her about the iceberg’s apparent indecision about staying in the lake or going with the flow, north to Canada, she tilts her head to one side and wonders about where he finds the time to think about saying such things. When he opens his journal and reads aloud the same words he just used to tell her all about the indecisive iceberg, everything seems to fall into place for her. A look comes over her face: sudden awareness that he’d never say anything out loud he hadn’t already written down (or imagined writing down) to tell her later.
He loves her and she has brown hair. He plans to write about her beautiful brown hair at some time in the future, as soon as he can, and come home after work, tell her all about it before it gets dark.
Ron. Lavalette is primarily a poet living in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, land of the fur-bearing lake trout and the bilingual stop sign. A reasonable sample of his published work can be found at EGGS OVER TOKYO.