Castle of Everywhere
Alfonse was just this close to finishing, two more stones to heave into place, his men moving together, they were one creature, onetwothree push, sweat making trails in skin, Alfonse moved his hands like he was conducting an orchestra, his men the music.
The stone moved home, fitting so sweetly into place it could have been born right there. Alfonse walked along the walls, dragging his hand slowly across stone, it sang into his skin, nearly unbearable harmony of stone on stone, fitted so close like it lived and breathed and shaped itself to its purpose.
Alfonse looked up a flying buttress, almost too delicate, soaring upward, into the clouds, arcing high over his head, over his men, the freeway, the glass-and-steel towers, living stone higher than all those dead things, office buildings like toys at the feet of his castle, sinuous buttresses and domes and windows of a hundred colors and towers of stone as intricate as lace.
This was his, this had been born from his dreams and spun out into the world, Alfonse felt the tears running back to his ears while he gazed up, he didn’t hear the horn of the bus bearing down, didn’t see it, maybe his eyes still dazzled, but a hand pulled him back just far enough, and he did feel the whoosh of the bus going past, his dirty coat lifted and flapping around him.
Alfonse looked around at the people waiting at the bus stop. They were looking down the street for their bus, not looking at him, not looking up. Why aren’t they looking up? How could they see anything else? If they would only lift their eyes, away from the street, their papers and magazines, away from their shoes and their bills, if only they would look up, they would see.
They would see he had made room, he’d made a home, for every one of them.
Founder of the Portuguese Artists Colony in San Francisco, Caitlin Myer regularly reads her work at Why There Are Words, Quiet Lightning, and other established reading salons in California. Her one woman show on Simone de Beauvoir was produced in Seattle.
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