Frostwriting

The Maze Within a Rapture

by Daniel Gallik

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    Ginny made one confession.  She lived over in the plains.  That’s what northwest Ohio had been called in those days.  After the interstate west to Detroit, the land leveled and became ruled by farms.   
    Ginny was married to Earl.  One kid and a hundred and fifty three acres and one barn and a tractor. 
    “I live for my man.  But inside I have another life.”  Every morning Ginny arose first and went out and fed the two cows.  They provided the milk for the family and the few neighbors who lived near by.  Always, when she came back into the kitchen Earl was there having his Cheerio’s and coffee.  He would say, “Well, thanks hon, and now Jimmy’s got to get up and go to school to achieve his ‘better’ life.  Ha, ha.”  Ginny always smiled at the dull joke and went about her business.  Every morning. 
    Earl lived heartily.  He did ninety five per cent of the man’s work at their farm - doggily pursued a healthy outcome each year, smiled as he plowed, ate good healthy food, and helped his neighbors when he had time.  Still, he always made time to look at the dirty books in the county’s public library outside of Bryan, OH.  He always thought it wasn’t a sin to do this.  Heck, he thought, I live near this flatland’s dull city and the public library is the only place I can find a pretty girl to look at in a quiet place.  Thoughts don’t hurt a marriage nor God.  Yes, Earl was a very deep thinker.  Reason was his essence of life.  So were pretty girls.
    The day’s dirty thoughts drove Earl well in the bedroom.  Ginny was always happy with his motives.  She liked going to bed at night.  It was always an adventure in this old clapboard house near town.  She could tell she liked her marriage because she never wanted to move anywhere else in the state, or heck, even the nation.  Ginny felt she was in a rapture.  Earl thoroughly loved dirt.  He never put much emphasis on taking showers to get clean.  He did it out of habit.  Of course, little Lenny didn’t know a thing about any of this.  Never did.  In fact, he moved out of Bryan after college, got a job in Detroit selling bulk quantity used cars to all the auto businesses in the Midwest and liked it.  Never got married, never produced another Lenny.  And, of course, drove around nicely the rest of his life.
Earl died first.  Ginny died exactly nine months later.  For a full nine months before her passing she went to church every Sunday.  And she had an odd dream.  She would speak about it every day in her house.  No one was listening to her.  She would say, “Last night, I had this dream.  Earl was in it and so were so many ladies.  Unbelievably, they were all pretty and seemed somewhat nice but also a bit distant.  Of course, as a proper woman I would say hi to them.  But they never spoke back to me.  And neither did Earl.  He did his work on the farm, and made love to me and went to sleep.  I remember those two cows and their milk like it was my own.  But I don’t remember ever being milked.  I just remember doing my jobs with a smile on my face.  Funny how I didn’t have an image of Lenny in my dream.  It seems like he was in our lives and out of our lives without much mention.  And Bryan was not a town.  It was a level land of few people and few dreams.  Yes, I had this odd dream all the time.  Then, one night, I had no dreams anymore.  I don’t remember passing to any other place.  I remember staying here in town and smiling because, quite frankly, Bryan’s all I was about.”

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Issue 12 contents

Poetry