Green is used to notate what I might want to delete because of irrelvance. Red for editorial notes to myself.
Sunlight permeates the air filling it with the smell of late autumn bombasity. Glowing from the inside out it spreads its flavor in a grandiloquent style unconcerned with social conventions, or for that matter privacy and boundaries. Using its powers of diffusion and reflection it, at least partially, penetrates the sneakiest of nooks, corners, holes, niches, lizard and spider retreats, and (we can’t forget) crannies with its soft and rusty incandescence.
Shadow is a, by nature, a dark and dastardly cynic. Boo is his (or her, she hasn’t made up her mind yet) applause. (S)He is known to sneak up on those deep in a state of contemplative mediation and piss all over them yelling, “That’s right. Boo it up. Boo it up!” Do you remember those heaven guarding angels depicted in Christian mythology? The ones with six wings, hideously grotesque forms, and wielding flaming swords? Yeah? Shadow considers the contemptuous and finds their antics amusing and childish.
Shadow holds Sunlight as his arch-nemesis.
This gender confused denizen of The Black, who Sunlight, to his gloomy dismay, comprehends its part in creating, might consider this same scent mentioned above -- the one which Sunlight, with a pompous pride, slings about in copious amounts -- more of an arrogant stink like the fumes of gasoline at one of those wham-bam-you’re-in-a-rush-well-we’ve-got-you-covered-stop-and-go-up-late-shop-till-you-drop-making-up-with-plastic-and-flash-for-what-it-lacks-in-personality-and-character-“convenience”-marts, but, unfortunately, without the intoxicating side-effects. What can we do? Its daddy is the sun. And, to be fair, without light what would, what could, we know?
Not everyone harbored such ill thoughts about Sun’s prodigal offspring. The long slender grass that grew in the shrubby meadow on the edge of the boy’s woodsy playground was uprightly infatuated in its unabashed belief in its own fantastical, “Center of the stage? Heh. I make the stage,” brand of awesomeness. He felt that, well, without light what would, what could, we know? It does kinda provide the illumination that brings everything else into being (even poor Shadow). Good gosh.
Vicariously, and with the humility and innocence of a teen girl that is developing intimate notions towards her priest, it allows itself to timidly feel some of its glory. Oh, thank this light, blissfully drunk on its very own being, thanks for allowing me to feel in ways that I only thought possible in after-school specials produced by Mr. Rogers. He thought Mr. Rogers was only second to the sun in purity.
In turn, The Light, as it called itself in short, not one to eschew praise, infused the stalks of over baked grass with a light hearted solidity. The grass’s attitude was similar to the how one of Norman Rockwell’s glossy police officers would feel after giving a boy -- teetering on that awkward and sometimes astonished “oh, well that’s new,” edge of puberty -- directions to a local ice cream stand. This was good because the grass needed this type of hardy flexibility to handle the boy. The need stemmed from accommodating the boy’s vitality which inevitably led to ruff-housing with his pet and ever-changing structural recombinations of the tunnel system being masterminded in the bowels of the meadow.
The boy was only peripherally aware (as humans are of most things) even in the openness of his prepubesence of the personalities that stirred around him and made up his atmosphere. To him this was his world. He owned it and did with it what he pleased.
As the boys designs grew in complexity, if not haphazardly and dependent on need, like additions to an impoverished, but loving, Catholic family of rabbit’s boroughs, so did the physical layout of the tunnel & chamber system that he was burrowing through this good hearted grass. The tunnels themselves weren’t made so much of the new grass that still, in its naivety, sometimes entertained hopes of immortality (or at least a death fit for stories); forever striving upwards toward the sky trying, like Icarus, to leave its dark earthen roots behind. (Why youths sadly spit on their elders, we may never know.) The system was constructed of the old grass that, being left untended and uncared for in a fallow environment for years, had collapsed under the weight of its younger counterpart’s dreams, and in doing so developed a sense of reality and limitation. This, with a certain sense of loving fortitude, led to blameless understandings, pitchy humor, and thoughtful considerations in its worldview. Thank The Light for worn old grass.
An aside before we continue. With such clues as: “rabbits boroughs”; dogs and their well known digging habits, and the sheer fact that almost all tunnels we encounter are subterranean, it may be easy to draw the conclusion that the boy’s tunnels also lay underground. This conclusion would be false. And I’m not talking false in the fuzzy politically correct relativistic “it’s kinda right, it’s kinda wrong” sort of way in which we loose our ability to distinguish to such a degree that any sort of evaluation becomes all but impossible, or at least meaningless. I’m talking about false as in straight up dead wrong. Of course I take full accountability for this misunderstanding. So let me clarify.
Given the “university studies” atmosphere that is so prevalent at this school the following exercise should be piece of cake. First let’s back up. Imagine a medium sized meadow in the “Indian summer” days of autumn. Hell, let’s put a sagging chicken-wire fence -- spotted and dotted hear and there with dollops of rust -- around it on one side and have a young woods give it a big warm hug on the other. Now let’s lightly sprinkle in a few burgeoning trees and over-achieving shrubs. Then notice the sunlight shining through the forest and carefully laying the tree’s shadows across the grass gently swaying in the breeze. Lastly, for good measure, let’s wind a small creek through one side of it. Aw. It’s so sweet and beautiful isn’t it? Romantic even.
Are you still with me? Do you have the above pictured in your mind? Great! Now rid yourself of all that flowery superfluous crap. Kick the extraneous flora to the curb, give the vain chicken-wire fence the heave-ho, wrangle up the babbling brook and send it on its way, and zoom in on the grass: the (unwanted?) star of this description. In certain types of wildernesses untouched by man for a good length of time a neat thing happens. Grass grows long and tall and then when the season is over it falls and the next year new grass grows up through this. After years of this a loose stratification of organic matter forms with the new material at the top and the oldest at the bottom. It was out of these interwoven layers of dead and dying grass -- using the newer upright and still vertical sprouts to help provide a support system -- that the boy gave his ideas physical manifestations in the form of his tunnels. And form them he did.
The boy made a wrestling room for the stumpy tailed blue and grey peppered mutt of a dog who followed him around like he was second in command. Given the amount of help the nameless, well, other than dog, animal put in it; little, and most of the time only when he was being looked at directly. Shuffling around skittish dirt particles and lofty dust motes like a guilty child would his vegetables under a seemingly hostile, and truly caring, mothers gaze. The dog looking up with an expression at the boy that either read “don’t you get it I’m spelling out the secrets of the everything in a universal hieroglyphic only misunderstood by the most dense”, or, shrugging doggie shoulders, “come on someone’s got to take care of the interior decorating.” In these faux (prostrations?) he acted more like a micromanaging foreman whose idea of work was pointing out that a carpenter’s nails didn’t enter the wood exact right angle.
He made the Tron labyrinth that he navigated joyfully after tying a hyper colored jump-rope to the tail of Dog. (He had to be good for something other than frustratingly ambiguous looks.) In their navigation of this pseudo electronic maze both of them unsuspectingly gave rides to hitchhiking chiggers trying to make their way home to loved ones. This went until exploding red mountainous of itchiness revealed the whereabouts of these mini trombiculidae stow-a-ways caused them to stop in there tracks. Now a new game was afoot, the dream of glorious of Tron victories fading in lieu of more immediate concerns, scratching competitions. No free rides on those ships.
He made a secret compartment off of a lesser taken side tunnel. He used it to hide his treasure consisting of pictures of women.
(Need to enter information about why I am deleting certain content for this class. Or I need to just combine these two paragraphs together.)
Women snipped out a collection of Cosmopolitan magazines he found in a shoebox, emblazoned on a fading white background with a difficult to decipher pattern of bright primary colored uniformly quarter inch dots that half stepped from one row to another much like bricks in a wall. Multiple visual puzzles intricately tangled within each other; a source of constant amusement. The box found in his half-sister’s, the one that ran away when he was too young to have anything but fragments of memories of her, closet. He knew it was wrong to have them. The whispered tones and sideways glances that characterized people speaking about the things thus pictured assured him that they were either sacred, forbidden, or both. This is the reason why they had to be hidden so carefully. He wasn’t sure whys of the reasoning. It was hidden by adults almost as carefully as he hid the pictures. Dog sure didn’t make a big deal about them.
Perhaps most importantly were the tunnels that led away from home base and into the other areas of his domain; the rusted sculpture training grounds, the lookout tower; the gully leading to hill of kings, and, of course, heaven.