Inspiration Too Much of a Cost

…it was so cold that Bob could bring leftover pizza and leave it in the car to be refrigerated for lunch, the steady diet of strong coffee, Darlington Lights, the white magical stone pipe that glowed with harmony each time a cherry was lit in its core, the hollowed out dowel that he had fashioned into a tobacco pipe, stuffed with cherry tobacco, not yet passing the memory of driving westbound south of Port Hickory, another gray day, there was a bridge over the St. Peter’s River on this route he knew, and was it a drawbridge or was there construction, crossing into the swamps of North Florida, the endless plains and salt marshes, the herons and wading birders, the snakes and manatees, the clear waters of Timucuan Springs, the coldness of the earth, which also spews hot water in Thermal Mountain year-round, the offer of a job at sixteen in the gift store, the offer of room and board for the summer, Bob’s first act of cowardice, but

… the body that refused to die was now dying …

if he had not stayed with Dad and Barbara Ann would things have been different, would Dad not have had the stroke that laid him out on the lobby floor in the Schussenhaus Chalet, where only nights before they had serenaded the sunset as father and son with a spell in the outdoor hot tub, as it snowed lightly in a crisp June evening at about six thousand feet at the base of the Tranchants, then back across the continent, past the silos of intercontinental ballistic missiles in Nebraska, the winding canyons of Wyoming, would he survive the trip, and boy did he, for another twenty plus years until the cancer got him disemboweled in the end, when you find out what you are really made of as you watch them take it out of your corpus, the body that refused to die was now dying, and inspiration was too much of a cost, and suddenly dying is no more of a fear than lost friendships or leaves blowing in the wind, in an apartment that is waiting for the heat to come on and the coffee to run out…

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