So yesterday I’m in the kitchen with Bill, talking briefly before one of his students arrives for a guitar lesson.
The kids are outside playing.
And I glance out there, and see, way in the back corner of the yard, that Julia is lying flat on the ground, motionless.
And Alex is approaching her, carrying a whiffle ball bat.
He reaches down and looks at her a bit, then pulls her by the arm a little way.
Then he sort of swings the bat around a bit and puts it down. And pulls Julia a bit further – closer to where he’d been swinging the bat.
And then he sort of pauses, and his lips move a bit.
And then Julia stands up and Alex lies down.
Julia moves away from him about fifteen feet…and then sashays, like she’s riding a horse, toward Alex.
She stops a little way away from him and then just walks normally to where he is lying, motionless on the ground. She carries the bat.
She touches his face. And then she takes his arm and pulls him about a foot. Then she turns away from him and swings the bat in a sideways arc, like Alex had done moments earlier. And then she pulls him again and then stops and stands, sort of staring off into her own little vision.
And her lips move.
And then – again – it is Julia’s turn to lie down.
They go through this little scene once more, and this time, when Alex is standing there and his lips are moving, the wind blows the sound in my direction and I can hear him.
I knew, all along, what they were each saying in turn.
The same phrase, after the swinging of the whiffle ball bat and the dragging of the prone person.
The pause. And then the line:
"And I thought they smelled bad…on the outside!"