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    Run For Your Life, Black Hockey Jesus!
    « After Kinnell And The Things He Tells To No One | Main | Snugglebug »

    Welcome Home

    for GK

    All the streets are closed today to accommodate the numerous parades of glorious floats and old fashioned cars and hundreds of baton twirling girls with smiling teeth that sparkle in the dazzling sun. A man throws his window open to lean outside, spreads his arms open wide, and sings songs to pretty ladies pushing strollers down the sidewalk. Can you hear him? Listen. He’s singing your favorite song; all the ladies blush and giggle. There’s not a cloud to be found in any of our skies, which are so fabulously blue that frustrated painters give up trying to capture its elusive nature with illusions of representation. They spit on their palettes and snap all their brushes. All the arts fracture into abstraction. The poets! They’re speaking in tongues. A hopeless boy, confined to his wheelchair, takes to his feet and runs. The convent door is ripped from its hinges and out pours a horde of nuns, all of whom are newly belligerent and actively seeking out trouble. There is confetti, everywhere. It falls like rain and snow and shooting stars. The people can’t believe it. They look up and shield their eyes with their hands to avoid getting confetti in them. Confetti in your eye hurts. But soon the confetti turns to flowers and musical notes and the people begin to abandon their various forms of nihilism for hope. Maybe the world does mean something. Or maybe it’s so rich with boundless vitality that the need for meaning shuffles off to the margins of boring philosophy and chats with theology. Birds are singing. Bells are ringing. Even the bees are being nice; they took the day off stinging. Everyone is wearing their snazziest threads and no one feels fat or stupid or alone. Women are no longer oppressed. Men are not afraid to express their feelings; they weep openly, awed by the mere fact that there’s something instead of nothing. Everyone finally minds their own fucking business and laws are passed that permit gay marriage. I repeat: everyone finally minds their own fucking business and laws are passed that permit gay marriage. All the children are sucking on hard candy. Old people are cooing at babies. People are cooking out in the yard and all the passersby wave. They say “You look nice today!” and the people feel great. Sexy even. The people feel sexy, like it’s Saturday night and they’re slightly drunk and someone across the bar holds their gaze longer than is generally held to be appropriate. The people feel like that. And there are countless banners hanging from innumerable balconies that all say WELCOME HOME! An airplane drags a banner across the sky that says WELCOME HOME! through the sky writing of a different airplane that had laboriously written WELCOME HOME! with airplane exhaust. All the news anchors on all the TVs look into the camera and say WELCOME HOME! A man, feeling uncharacteristically charitable, rolls down his window to give a bum some money. The bum, fisting the 20, says “J’hear the news? moving back to the country today!”

    Reader Comments (15)


    June 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSuebob

    Chicago. 4:00 PM. Friday.

    June 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    She's the real thing. Like Coca-Cola, but better. Welcome home, G. xx

    June 23, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJuli

    Well that's excellent. This hemisphere needs her.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterpalinode

    This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday - LyzHPpr

    June 23, 2011 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterschmutzie

    Will she bring chocolate?

    June 24, 2011 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

    I've heard rumors of Swiss chocolate.

    June 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    Nonnie nonnie nonnie, Europe.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:07 AM | Unregistered Commentersweetsalty kate

    sorry, I don't know Gwen but exactly how I feel about you and the kids coming "home"....!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 6:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMom

    fantastic -- I don't know Gwen, but I'm happy to share her coming homeness.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

    Every time I read your blog I want to comment to let you know that I was here and I loved it. But it's like all of my words get overwhelmed by yours and I never know what to say. So maybe I will just comment 'beautiful' from here on out, because it always is.

    June 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

    Wow. Really nice, that feeling. Glad I clicked over.

    June 25, 2011 at 6:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterBethany

    Oh, the gazing. I miss that.

    June 26, 2011 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAll Adither

    Love this, love you, love Gwen. So there.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterslouchy

    Inspired by (the wonderful) Mattern, I wandered over here to see what was up. Wow, I am blown away by your writing.

    Since I was a kid I've had a recurring dream about finding buried treasure at the beach. Not the sparkly stuff, but rich and weighty and imbued with a patina that makes you know it's the real thing. Finding your site feels like that. Thanks for sharing.

    June 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterClare

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