Why Lawn Chairs, July

The Brocade below was written by John and used the words Comfort and Worry in connection with the photo below. You can write a Brocade too! Just open the Writing menu in the navbar above, and click Brocade: A Writer’s Exercise!

July was eight. She looked up at her father as he scratched his goatee and mashed down his hair. Even at her young age, she knew that was his signal that he was about to leave her, as he always did, amid the soldiering ranks of white metal lawn chairs–and she could hardly wait.
Before he could speak, she started strolling toward a choice of thrones, humming her Sousa-ed version of the morning’s rehearsal at home. Her father meanwhile plodded, trumpet case under his arm, toward the band shell.

Feeling the warmth of the sun pressing whitely and serenely down into her skin from above, and the familiar, murmuring grass as it cooled her between her toes, she wandered among the white metal maze. July had the whole herd of chairs to herself. Not one of the sleepy Misten denizens had come out yet to the hokey little city park to secure a bank of chairs, and nothing made her happier than to waddle and weave unhampered between a hundred rows before settling at last on the random somewhere of a deserving chair, the random somewhere of the middle of an ocean of sameness.

She flopped down on her somewhere seat, and suddenly it was no longer random. It was hers.

But before she could drift off, she caught a glimpse of her father, submerged in the cave-like shade of the band shell, as he clumsily lifted a few scales through his horn. Then, loudly, obnoxiously, he careened through a few bars of what was supposed to be a star-spangled afternoon. When she heard that, her stomach hurt–she thought she knew what he must be feeling: the clammy, sickening feeling that every performer has an hour before the concert. But in reality she didn’t know her father very well at all. Didn’t know that he actually felt nothing; he didn’t feel a single thing, except for the vague mist of a thought that somewhere out there the perfectly arbitrary hand of God had decided to take her away from him.

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