Synaesthesia Magazine Americana - Page 51

It's Not Even Past

Photograph: Tom Darin Liskey

Sometimes I’m there again at the house, in the backyard, standing among the patchy hazel-colored grass more dirt than grass. I’m always back by the shed, studying the lawn chairs set up in concentric half-circles near the deck, clusters of rusted and bent Coleman grills, broken bike parts littered among the weeds. Takes me a minute, but then I see them, the neighbors: they’re gathering and talking, drinking from plastic cups and cans of lite beer between cackles and guffaws. There’s a cooler on the deck filled with fast-melting ice, bugs swarming the spilled pop dreaming of blood meals.

That’s when Caleb always comes out the slider dragging the old TV, cord wrapped up his forearm like a constricting black snake, hollering at everyone to take a seat—that the show’s about to get started.

“Kyle!” he yells at me. “Help me get this up in the cupboard.” By which he means the doorless armoire planted in the dirt, weighted down with weight discs borrowed from Dad’s old workout bench.

“Sure,” I tell him. “Alright.”

We load the TV in and Caleb rigs it up while I survey the crowd: they’re pasty and cherry-faced and freckled, see more of myself in them than I’d care to. They talk amongst themselves wearing oversized tees and ill-fitting sundresses, lounging and whooping between labored breaths as the sky fires up orange-red in defense of the night.