Crumpled Paper

People tossed in baskets

Roman Newell
The Interstitial

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Photo by Jocelyn Morales on Unsplash.

The cat blinks like a camera shutter and flips his tail. Three dogs are splayed around the house. Half the lawn is kempt. The other half is grown wild and tall for roving raccoons. Dead winds and sleeping trees. I wonder. What do I lose when I assume people are bad?

When good becomes a basket weaved from social fabrics. People tossed in like crumpled paper. What do I lose?

In solitary I spent hours making napkins into balls and throwing them in the sink. Over and over. Passed time like toilet paper off the roll until it sat piled on concrete. I reflected on my entire life. Every moment. Each decision that led me here or there. Every person lost. Each missed opportunity. Sometimes I felt asphyxiated. Unable to breathe. Would close my eyes and talk to myself until I calmed. Until my breathing slowed. Then I recounted the reasons things weren’t so bad. I had food. Blankets. I wouldn’t be here forever. If Victor Frankl were here, what would he say?

I think of her on days the wind blows yellow grass to a southwest lean. Anytime I see a boy with a red bat. Anytime I think about Riverside Park. I guess I’ve been unfair.

She’s my mother. And every morning when dawn cracks like an egg I’m a wagon wheel about our intersections. I want this mother/son relationship to go somewhere, but…

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Roman Newell
The Interstitial

Busy working on my novel, 20XX. I also talk about the writing journey on Substack. romannewell.substack.com.