Tennessee Hands ( A Short Short )

by lizriggs

Hands Of Desperation

There is a Nintendo 64 sitting on top of a pile of scarves on top of a pile of books inside an Office Depot box I stole from a middle school.  It has four controllers and one of them is blue with a rumble pack that weighs down my hands when I play. They controllers are dusty and the cords are tangled up like confused garden snakes.

The boxes are crushing each other, four and five and six and seven of them. Records, a teapot haphazardly pushing out of one, a potato masher deep beneath a mixer, a street sign with my name on it.

You’ve volunteered to help carry out the boxes.  The house is small; it won’t take  long.  You’ve offered to be here when I have to go, to take your Nebraska hands, your dirty fingernails and dig into the carpet covered in dog hair and lift up memories to put into a truck or a trailer or the backseat of a car.

Your Van Halen t-shirt is in the laundry; I’ll have to pack it too. You left it here from the run we took where you stopped to take a piss by the railroad tracks. When we ran to play chess and drink beer, where we sang songs and you saw an old man that reminded you of your grandpa and it brought tears to your eyes and I held your hand across the metal table.

There’s a metal table next to the stacked boxes, holding up a Willie Nelson poster I got for you. The table has two sides that will fold down so it’s easier to move and it rolls and rolls and rolls and I will take the Willie Nelson poster off of it, I will lift the rusted latches of its antique hinges and I will sling them down and I will move it out with my Tennessee hands and I will do it alone.

I will do it alone.