Robert Okaji

Issue #
April 26, 2020

Letter to Geis from This Side of the Glass

Dear Greg: I can't help but think about windows, their function, their meanings, intended and otherwise, how they block some entities but allow others entrance. A black vulture feather lies just on the other side of this pane, but the laws of material and physics prevent me from reaching through and claiming it. Maybe I'dsharpen the end, dip it into squid ink and write letters.Or not. Cephalopods are scarce in the hill country, unlike carrion birds, wild hogs and scorpions, and frankly, ballpoint pens require less maintenance. Lately, the opaque has redirected my attention — no matter which government agency speaks, I feel surrounded by their pseudomorphs, those little indistinct clouds of mucus and dark pigment released to confuse and numb me. A common occurrence, I hear, and all the more frightening for it. I think of where we're headed, collectively and individually, and even knowing that our destination remains unchanged offers small comfort. One foot at a time, the steps matter,and though it appears we won't share those planned brews in Bandera, I'll chuckle over our last meeting there and dream up a conversation about futility and compromise, and yes, success. I've just spent twenty minutes trying to help a yellow jacket escape. It wouldn't leave the glass even after I left the door ajar, allowing a fly to enter. Instead, it gazed out at the hazy morning, seeking a way throughrefraction's oblique path. Finally, shepherded with my bare hand, it reluctantly skittered to the jamb, and I coaxed it the final few inches by pushing it with the door. Such are my days. A little faith, some hope, luck and a great unknowing. This window seems cloudy, or is it justmy eyes? I miss you, buddy, as do the hills and the skyand everything nestled and bustling between.  Bob

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