The sunlight glimmered on my face from directly overhead. I sat on a concrete stoop, which was no more than a crumbling block of limestone, just a long stones throw away from the mighty Mississippi River. A slight breeze wiggled the shoestring on my black military boots, worn and in desperate need of some tender care and a little bit of shoe polish. Or maybe there wasnt a breeze at all . . . maybe I believed there to be a breeze and my senses or recollection of the events have been skewed. My memory does not serve me best anymore, or shall I say, it never has. You see, I cannot remember how I came to be on that filthy step in the little town of Keokuk, Iowa, a once-thriving river town on the muddy banks of the Mississippi. The town had a charm to it that I could not appreciate in those days.
The descriptions often written in masterpiece novels of Mark Twain come alive in this little town. The architecture jumps out, similar to words from a book or details in a vision, perhaps one that I would never actually get to see with my own two eyes. There was also a feeling in the place that gave me a sense of comfort. This sense eludes me in most ways today. I felt young again, younger than I actually was. I felt like swimming down in the river, like staying all day on its muddy banks and basking in the sunshine. I felt like walking up one block from the river and grabbing a piece of pie, then strolling down main street with a group of friends, kicking rocks as we go or jumping over sidewalk cracks. This was the comforting feeling that warmed mea down home sense of care and wonder, a timeless passage that stops and you never seem to escape from it.
I seem to get drawn into reminiscing and can stay there all day in these subtle places that I create. The happiness and comfort seem to be there, but, also the dread and decay of others can arrive just as quickly, and sometimes more efficiently. Like a spider on a dew laden web, efficient killers of living things which can trap and remove all life and movement. Appropriate cognitive thinking and discernment of my surroundings seemed to elude me in this instant. Again, I do not remember how I got onto that step, but, I do remember the past now. It flickers in and out as if it is a broken lamp, something on a dark street and struggling to light the cold, wet, abandoned road. This is how the memory feels and seeps into my conscious. I am drawn to it, and at the same time, afraid to search the darkness on which it may shed