copyright © 2003 Cory Capron

Postcards From The Ruins
Written and preformed by Cory Capron, July 25th, 2003

Blue heron tears pour out of aluminum serpent mouths, washing away all the chalk flowers from the inner city playgrounds. The asphalt gardens fade into the storm drain grates with the empty-handed love poems from the ones who can't escape. A girl plays on the swing in her Sunday best, oblivious of the rain. It's Tuesday. One of the runny nose boys watches her from under the bridge.

(Lights fade out then fade in a little faster)

The pheromone highways are suddenly demolished. Workers leaving the factory at 5:30 step out of their cars to stare at the franticly flashing traffic lights. They watch in horror the catastrophe on the on ramp, unable to do anything but scramble for their cameras. A former state of consciousness creeps out through the cracks in the peeling paint. It echoes through radio reporter voices with a strange aftertaste of déjà vu. These little routines, rituals void of spirituality, all obstructed violently. The cabdriver is bleeding from his scalp. The jeep water planed, causing the pile up.

(Fade out then in)

Secret lovers, cubical employees, embracing long after the act in the janitor's closet, dream and philosophize aimlessly. He fingers the collage pin on her jacket while recalling the gang back home. The florescent light flickers faintly as she tells of her siblings and her plans to become a professional photographer for National Geographic, so she can see the world before we finish it off. She says there is so much we can learn from other cultures. If nothing else we should have a siesta in this country, she concluded laughing. He hung his head and didn't say anything for a long time. He knew no one could be her. Dissolved chalk rolls down his cheek.

(Fade out then in)

Out on the patio of a white little New England style house in a willow magnolia neighborhood, a sixty-four year old woman shoves paintbrushes into her ears, nose, and mouth. She liked things the way they were. You can see the cemetery from her patio. Her grandson is asleep under a holly bush. The cemetery always seemed like the only sane place to him. A girl once kissed him there. Everyone said she wasn't right in the head. He could hear his mother struggling with grandma.

(Fade out then in)

The other boys under the bridge were playing jacks with rodent skulls and a golf ball they fond in the river. They kept telling him to forget about her. He fingers his peace of chalk. Maybe when it stops raining I'll write her something, he thinks to himself, wiping his nose on his sleeve.

(Fade out then fade in not quite as fast)

The tears weren't salty. They tasted like rust, graphite, and hot rubber dust. Portraits of galaxies in the parking lot left by bleeding cars. Families sitting at picnic tables outside the mega mall watch the machines, admiring the light pollution. No one minds a fence when it's got a nice paint job. No one minds a wall with a pretty painting hanging on it. Boy leaves the table to plant flowers. Father just leaves.

(Fade out then in)

The cabdriver shakes the shoulder of his passenger while asking if he's ok. Car doors open with metallic screams. Voices out of focus gather. Millipede hands strum their impatient fingers on the roof of the cab. Windshield wipers continue to flap with their hallway squeaky shoes. A t-boned van is singing the world's longest note. Somewhere in the pile up an alarm had been triggered. The passenger made a sound. He was still alive. The cabbie tries harder to gain his consciousness, telling him to wake up, wake up. The passenger lifts a feeble hand to the cabby's face. He takes a finger from his other hand to his mouth. Before he dissolved out of the cab into milky chalk water, he told the cabbie to please be quiet, it's siesta time.

(Slowly fade out then slowly in)

The boy leans against one of the bars of the merry-go-round for a moment. He watched her till she stopped swinging. He walks up to her nervous and awkward feeling. He say's hi, and then jokingly, nice weather we're having. She look's at him and smiles, speaking a foreign language with her body. In the long silence an imaginary French soldier with absurd features offers him a cigarette and blindfold. Then, speaking as if they had been conversing for hours, she comments that we should have a siesta in this country. The boy agrees trying hard not to show his feelings. The sound of the drowning world around them saturates the returning silence. He asks her if she would like to go to the cemetery with him. Still holding that smile she says yes.

(Slowly fade out then extra slowly in)

The clouds begin to shatter like a swarm of poisoned birds. The cabbie pulls himself out through the broken cab window. He looks around. He can't count all of the wrecked vehicles. It was more than one pile-up. It was madness everywhere; a knee-deep holocaust of plastic insects. A few other people stagger about the on ramp. The traffic lights are still flashing at machinegun speeds. Getting to his feet, he can hear the sound of the approaching ambulances. Within three hours, workers in shiny black armor cleared the scene. It didn't take long for the pheromone highways to be repaired. Some questions just didn't seem to be worth the trouble to ask.

(Start to slowly fade out then fade back in)

P.S. In the land of sleepwalkers, dreamers wait in the contaminated waters under the recorded streets of imposters and sandmen. Their flowers now, for the darkness alone. However, there is a piece of chalk on the backseat of a shipwrecked cab in Abel's Highwater Junkyard, if anyone's interested.

This came about when I was trying to write a song. I had a lot of images that I had jotted down in this little notepad on a rainy day on my way home from work. I tried for about two weeks to get a song out of it, but I couldn't keep any kind of lyrical structure. I thought I had a pretty good song in my head, but I couldn't make all the pieces fit. So one day I just gave up on it and started putting them into this kind of rant and found that when I quit worrying about structure it really opened the flood gates. A couple days later I had this idea for a story about this guy looking back on his life before he died, and from there came a lot of the rest.

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