Aiming for a creative life

I Am Santo

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By the time he got to Hastings Corner, the clouds had gone into check mate and sun bled morning like dead pawns. Thoughts of Daneen rolled around through his fog bank memory but Simon fought to maintain focus. Most days were too within the struggle of routine for him to think of the past, but today he found her laced through his thoughts the way blood was with spit toothpaste each morning. She’d been his reminder to go to the dentist, mow the lawn and count blessing and now was present in the shade of approaching noon, lurking at the corners of his every movement toward the target location. And while he feigned ignorance, Simon knew why: Daneen wouldn’t approve of this. Seeing him this desperate, she would have left him. But she had it easy, didn’t she? She abandoned the struggle, or maybe was the cause of it, and Simon felt the heat of his anger spread up from his gut, through his chest and leach into the back of his neck where it burned like a kitten’s scruff might when picked up by its mother. He resented her for dragging him away from what he needed to do and dropping him at the alter of her faith in day because now he had to bring retreat to the sun and wage war on what hadn’t worked since she left. Regular life was a curse and as Simon withdrew the pistol from the glove box he told her aloud, his voice cracking with uncertainty, that she had no right to tell him what he was supposed to do anymore. It didn’t matter how she died, Daneen was gone. Bullets took innocents the same way a fire might or a tornado could. Today was another disaster loosed and though Simon wondered for a moment if the shot that killed Daneen could have been fired from someone like him, if somehow he was stuck in a blind cycle of abhorrent destiny, he shrugged off the worry by grabbing the thick brown package in the glove box, tearing a corner and peaking at the crisp bills that were now his. If this was some larger routine he’d fallen into, he was relieved to finally be on the upswing of it. The sun hid above and Simon stepped from his car in a midday gloaming that bathed the world in soft gray. Daneen had no place here. Nothing was simple black and white. (To be continued…)

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