Submitted by William Elder.
Music is played in my neighborhood. It echoes every dusk, sweet as a horn. Taps I once detested because of what it might portend— for me and those I had taken close around me, as protection. I survived; they mostly survived too. But that tune haunts on, these years later.
Standing in grass— which is, yeah, too high— I listen. But it smells good. I remember too many smells that did not smell good, and I remember. I remember so hard that sometimes I forget to remember now. That reality overwhelms this reality, standing here, listening there. They say holding an empty conch shell to your ear allows you to hear the sea. I hold a half-empty fifth of whiskey to my ear hoping to hear that time long past. Sometimes I do. It is like no confused sea I hope you never hear, no kaleidoscope I pray you will ever see.
I go inside, wipe my aged toes, help the whiskey along to its final resting place, and think, maybe, I can still hear those final notes. They are illusions. I count my blessings and take another drink. Reveille will come soon enough.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.