Chapter Forty-One: Fields

Editor’s Note: the 1970s in Vine featured population growth and development even in the face of slight economic decline. Modernization was beginning to breed hints of decay, yet the Elder Council voted again and again to increase production. I found this in a drawer in my dad’s desk. I don’t know if it’s notes for an article he was working on, or maybe Dad had a sentimental side and was dabbling in poetry. There is something here that gets at an unspoken truth of Vine before the Hayes murders. 

Years later he would remember the day he blew on a dandelion for the first time. It was a quiet afternoon and his father chastised him, saying the flower was nothing but a weed and he was spreading the seeds all over the yard. But the yard was already covered in dandelions he thought. But he didn’t argue. 

He would go on to become a real estate man selling people their dreams and at a halfway decent commission. He joined the Chamber of Commerce and donated to silent auctions at the Church’s Easter Picnic. His wife kept a garden growing lilies and sunflowers and other things. 

There were unpleasant times—as there must be—and he would regret for years the days when the repossession notices would come. He’d have to sell a house he’d already sold while some poor family got put out. He didn’t like those days. But life—and he knew in his bones—was full of highs and lows and ups and downs. He was an honest man. He would ask his clients can you afford these dreams? He liked to think of them as a dreams. Not homes. Dreams are timeless. Dreams having the feeling of reaching onwards and always into billowing green grass and the radiant tapestries of sky. He would spend hours at night awake but dreaming of the home he grew up in with the dandelions.

Hours later he would be at the Chamber of Commerce board meeting remembering earlier when the buyers backed out. He had never had buyers back out. He was still thinking about the buyers and their frankly irrational reservations about drain pipe size when the President of The Chamber of Commerce called upon him to speak. He was prepared: he brought flashcards. But then he stuttered—a thing he had never done. After the meeting he skipped cocktails and instead drove for miles without knowing where he was going. He drove past the turnoff for his subdivision. He drove to the two-lane road that twisted into the mountains. He drove while thinking about foreclosures. And then he came to it: an undeveloped field—he wondered could it be the only one left? But no, that could not be. Vine was abundant in surprises. Lit by the sinking red sun. Covered in weeds that looked like flowers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *