Saturday, August 17, 2013

I hardly even know what this means.

"Grab your shovel." She said.


"We're going to need them when the rocks get deep."

After the rain when the grass gets slick and I wonder briefly how it'll react with my shoes, we trope into the trees with the shovels from the shed out back, nothing dry but our persons, the construction of the shed lending to frequent leaking. It starts again, it all starts up again. The digging and the groaning and general wondering why it is she drags me here, why it is we do this.

But we do. She hops over a mud puddle and shrieks through the trees. 

We do it. We do it all again.

"Grace." I mutter when she gets on hands and knees. Those stains from last rain still etched upon her clothes back at the house. She flashes back a smile, having forsaken the shovel, thrusting her hands into the dirt. I can feel the grit under my fingernails by watching her, ghost memories flinting past my eyes like gnats. It happened here.

"Grace." I say louder, watching her back muscles strain as she fanatically scoops the mud. "Grace!"

I realize I'm clutching my shovel; I look at it for a moment, the evergreen of the damp woods blurring into silence for a moment. I start up the trail past her, leaving her to toil with what's already been done.

It takes her a moment to catch me, her eyes still widened with that near maniacal gleam, confusion etched under the mud scaling her face. 

"We've done that one before." 

She watches me, follows me, her gaze calmed but still misunderstanding. 

"We've what?"

"We've done that one before!" I find myself frustrated at her as she stops short and slumps down. She looks at me, at my shovel, and sighs.

"Mine's still back there." Grace points with an unenergetic hand into the trees. 

Our eyes hold space for a long time, then hers start to flint down the hill. 

"We've done that one before."

"Can I go get it?"

"We've done that one before."

We're overlapping each other in speech, her eyes darting back the direction we've come with each alternate beat of her heart. She inches towards it.

"Just let me go get it."

"We've done that before, Grace."

"I'm just going to get it."

I wait a few hours, the sun's breached through the canopy, warming my body, drying my mud crusted grass stained shoes. I grab the old shovel and make a few attempts in the dirt at the base of the tree. We never get much progress, not when the ground dries, and not when she stays far behind. I weave back down through the trees, passing her in her digging, unaware that I'm there or that I know. It'll rain again, and she'll drag me out, but we won't make it too far. We never do. She likes where we've been more than where we're going. 

Even if all that's there is just dirt. 

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