He kept the acorn. It’s sitting on the dashboard, next to the picture of his first dog and the earplugs he used to muffle the kids out of his dreams in Oceanside on the Friday night he was stopped by darkness at the small, nondescript town. He noticed it sitting alone in the old glass menagerie cabinet his mother had given them. She called it a secretary’s desk. It didn’t look like a desk to Billy, but he took her word for it.
The acorn was on the second shelf, or so he believed. At first he didn’t notice it, so many things running through his head. He’d been moving, doing things, since super bowl Sunday. A stark moment of clarity. A human doer he'd heard before. He had never liked football, because his father never watched it, so likewise he didn’t watch it. The patriots won.
He stayed home that weekend, not doing much of anything. He’d been spending a lot of time at home lately.
The master bedroom was a large, empty room, a lot of space that he wasn't used to. His first house, the one he sold to buy this one, had only one bedroom, could barely fit a queen sized bed; just right for a bachelor. It was his; that meant something.
He remembers hearing that the acorn represented a joining of two; that with nurturing & patience, the acorn would grow and flourish, the quintessential metaphor of love.
He didn’t notice the hole until later. He had made sure to put the acorn in the pile to save, the rest of his things he either sold or gave away.
He didn’t know whether the hole was there from the beginning, or whether it appeared suddenly, like a car windshield with a slight chip subjected to a rapid change in temperature. Or maybe it was akin to the weevils that would suddenly appear in his oatmeal tin, almost as if they were there from the beginning, planted like alien seed pods depicted in low budget movies he remembered watching with his father as a child. There they hid in the quiet of the night, until his guard was down and he was vulnerable, defenseless, naked - alone.
The hole was there, nonetheless. The acorn itself looked different to him now. It wasn’t as perfect and idealized as he once believed, or as he was told. Every seed seemed to him to have an inherent flaw; the potential and utterly probable riving.
Billy thought for a moment more, wiped his cheek with his shirt, then cautiously turned South toward the sun.
Copyright © 2010 John M. Chandler (a mine; not yours production)
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