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"cow on the run"


(Matylda, cow on the run, living free for two years in Zloty Stok, Poland before farmer Leszek Zasada, after failing to bring her home with snares, dogs, and cow wrangling on horseback, tried "courting" her with salt, apples and cabbage)

"Cows aren't called 'bossy' for no reason." Melanie grew up in the cheeselands of Wisconsin and served her time tending to her father's 30 Holsteins. A small farm on 120 acres of fields and woods, a barn with two silos and a three-bedroom farmhouse with her room upstairs, facing west, where she would watch the sunsets over a tree-feathered ridge two miles away, and dream of California.

"I always thought they were gentle, kindly creatures who listened attentively, gathered round Farmer Johnson sitting barn stage-center on a milking stool, as he read them stories of life on the busy, honking streets of Chicago and New York." Niles is lying next to her on an old blanket spread out in the backyard of Hall House, an old four-square, two-story house with a long, well-tread center hall. It's a 1:00am Sunday in July, the dew point's low, and the stars are lighting up the night.

"That's 'Cow on the Run.' I read that book when I was seven," Melanie says.

"I was eight and just beginning my farmland dreamtime."


"Really?" She turns her head and looks at him, as he breath laughs and gives her a brief, sly eye. She looks back at the sky. "Fucker. Were you born to be a moment killer?"

"Not sure. But at three I remember looking in the mirror and asking Dad what my t-shirt said. 'Moment Killer,' he answered, and I was pretty sure that was the coolest thing anyone could ever be."

"Personality assembly needs to start early. There are so many, moving parts." She glances at his face again, then turns her eyes back to the sky. Across the star lights is a blinking jet at 30,000 feet, silent as it passes slowly over the sleeping, peoplelands. "Who's in the plane?" she asks.

"Seat 37A, left side on the window," Niles answers, "a girl is reading "Hot Babes On the Prowl," a new young-adult romance bodice-ripper she found in a corner of the airport. Left on a chair with a half-full bag of corn chips, the cellophane opening of the bag the exact image of her Aunty Wilma's, shaved and flappy vulva. The girl is twelve and if her mother sleeping next to her on the plane knew she was even holding this book in her sweet-pure hands, she'd kick the window out toss the trash where it belongs."

There's a pause and Melanie continues.

"Three rows back in 40C, Harold Wilkins is just drifting off as his mind plays back the evening spent with Creselda, a girl he met in the candy aisle of a CVS on Michigan Avenue. She bought a bag of Jelly Bellys, opened it and asked him in the check-out line if he'd like one. "'Jelly Belly?'" she said, in a 25-year-old girl version of Ronald Reagan."

Melanie stops and Niles picks up.

"Harold stood there for a nine-count, like a statue cast in a mold of silent shock, before Creselda spoke and saved him from the knock-out. 'You're wondering how a 20-something girl, in 2015 Chicago, could even know who the fluck Ronald Reagan was, let alone do a drop-dead impers of his voice?'"

"'Yes,' Harold answers."

"'I was just in a play called "How The Future Turned to Shit," and got to strap the Ron-Mon into the social-remembrance electric chair.'"

Melanie continues.

"Harold laughs then says: 'Cool. Wanna fuck?'"

"'Sure, why not? You have a hotel?'"

"'I'm at the Westin.'"

"'Cool. Should I bring a friend?'"

"Harold pauses for a moment as his heart begins to race. It's like a dream he first had at age nine, back when wet dreams were the body class where his head learned how to swim in fantasies of sex. He smiles and says: 'Pinch me, I must be dreaming.'"

Niles continues.

"Florence Wilkins smiles then reaches out and pinches Harold's sleeping, upper arm -- hard. His eyes flash open wide. For a moment he is lost, then realizes he's sitting in an airplane."

"'You were dreaming,' Florence says, and looks back at her magazine. 'You actually said "Pinch me, I must be dreaming." So I did. What was the dream about?'"

"'Uh, just work stuff. Nothing glamorous,' Harold says, picking up his bearings from the conscious floor."

"'Oh,' Florence replies. 'Then why a boner the size of California?'"

Melanie laughs, then she and Niles are silent on the blanket for a few minutes. "Anyone for frozen cow juice?" she asks.

"Yes, said the boy riding beside you on the magic blanket. What a shame cows have no appetite for ice cream. They own the factory farm. Imagine a future with all the ice cream you ever wanted."

"Actually, I think someone else is holding the paper on their future." She pauses. "And, you know, we could do the solo handshake thing together, first, if you want. You scream, I scream, and then we have some ice cream."

"My boner was afraid you'd never ask."


20150717 19:18 (868 words)
_____________________
music:
- by Paul and Linda McCartney and Wings
-- a) "Band on the Run" from "Band on the Run" 1973
-- b) "Uncle Albert - Admiral Halsey" from "Ram" 1971 (video shot mostly on and near High Park Farm near the Mull of Kintyre, the headland at the south of the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland)
- by Tessa Rose Jackson
-- a) "Winter Night" a single 2012
-- b) "Now I See" a single 2013
-- c) "Stepping Stone"
-- d) "Lost & Found"
-- e) "Lost & Found"
-- f) "Change Time"
... from "Songs From the Sandbox" 2013
-- g) "The Pretender", Foo Fighters cover, a single 2015

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