We stepped out onto concrete steps that were cracked from earthquake disturbance into black veins from which grass had grown, dried, died and sprouted again. A red flash was reflected in my parked Dodge Neon. It occurred to me that if I’d known the auto would receive so much attention, I would have washed it sometime in the last six months. Then the red glob of a ball flew into tree tops and sat on one limb of an old palm, as if making a nest. Yet the surrounding air and light continued to spin and whirl with white streaks folding and unfolding like shafts of shiny fabric in the sun.
“I heard a loud boom,” my friend said.
“I missed that. But maybe it came from that red ball.”
“What ball?” He glanced around the yard.
A head shot out of a window from the house next door.
“What was that?” The face was frightened and confused. “I felt rumble like a truck going by.”
I stared at the red ball. It twirled and flew in a circle around my head. It bloomed into tiny feathers that cascaded across the sky and then fell like snow onto the lawn.
“That was cool,” My friend smiled and turned his head toward me. “It was like a symphony.”
The face of the stranger next door lit up with laughter. “Wow that was wild. I felt like I was dancing a jig and yet I didn’t move my legs an inch.”
I looked toward the face and wondered if it was an old man or woman. It was hard to tell. Oh, well that’s Hollywood for you. I said, “I guess it must have been all in your head.”
“That’s impossible,” The race frowned with overly red lips and pulled down a wrinkled brow under platinum hair. “Are you calling me crazy?”
“No,” I replied. “I was just saying that things aren’t always what they appear to be.”
“Nonsense,” My friend said. “I know what I see. And what I feel. And what I hear. And I heard a symphony, dammit.”
“OK. OK. I have to leave.” I shook hands and started to hug my friend goodbye and then realized he backed away slightly with a quick jerk as if repelled. I thought how odd it was that I felt such magnetic attraction and he obviously felt just the opposite force. I opened the pulled the car door open and glanced up at the red ball. It was gone. I suddenly wondered if I was going crazy. Then I thought that at least I wasn’t alone. Those too were loonier than I was.
Where is That Coming From? is acrylic and India ink on paper 15″×20″