There is a place where a dirt filled paddock lies on it’s back staring up at the blueness. The fields’ dusty brown face faces the sky, freshly harrowed and covered in smooth grooves. Those lines neatly swirl around stumps and logs making a pattern like a huge fingerprint. Cut through the face of that field there is a road, the gravel shines bright like a smile. On the side of that silent road there is a blue plastic chair, it’s small, sized for a child. She sits on that chair with breath faster than usual, you can hear it; it’s so quiet here. You can also hear the buzzing coming from inside her closed right hand. She has an insect in there. She chased it around and caught it on a fence post. Now she waits, where she often waits, hoping for her friend to drive past. They have no formal arrangement but the friend drives past most days and the blue plastic chair has been used for this purpose before.
The insect was hard to catch. It is an insect that she’s never seen before. She has no education in insect identification but she has a sure and sturdy memory and this one isn’t in it. In fact there is a tiny thought deep inside her hoping that this insect is an alien; a colony queen with secrets from far beyond, hidden in the palm of her hand. It buzzes in there and she wonders. She would never express this dream to anyone without some sort of heightened emotional situation. She hopes she can get into the car and back to her house with the contents of her palm undetected.
A car is heard before it is seen here. When it is seen it is at the sharp tip of a long fraying cape of dust stretching right back along the history of the road. In the friends car there is a question that floats but never lands. The friend has a black eye. She will never know how her friend was injured.
The cause of the friends’ black eye is from one week previous. The friend was standing in her back yard; she was looking at the dwarf Cos lettuce that she had just planted, when a D battery hit her. She will probably never know this but Miriam, four doors down, just walked out into her backyard and threw it as hard as she could. She used to be able to throw things very far when she was a teenager and she missed it; she missed that feeling. She used to throw stones into the lake when her mother got sick and it helped. Her shoulder got sore and it helped. That quick, fast feeling, the force of her body; it helped. The ritual of it helped: searching for a stone, studying its shape, and then launching it out over the water knowing that it will be gone from her life forever, just the memory of its shape, just the memory of its weight in her hand and their brief time together is left. Whenever she remembers her mother all she wants to do is throw something as far as she can and know that it will be gone forever. So in a moment of stupid recklessness she walked out of her kitchen and threw a D battery hard and far over her side fence. She will probably never know that it struck her neighbors’ face four doors down. She just threw it hard over her fence, over her neighbors’ garden shed. Then, when she had lost sight of it, with no one else watching, she fell to her knees, held her face in her hands, then quickly got up, went back into the kitchen and put the new batteries in the flashlight.