Everyone around here works for or has worked for the oil companies.
This is boring to think about, he thinks.
For 3 weeks now, still water standing along the road.
He walks by a mailbox smashed to shards at the end of someone's drive. There aren’t any sidewalks. Just grass and bramble and other dogs’ shit everywhere—he always picks up what his dog does.
At this point, why? The neighbors think the dog shit’s his dog’s anyways even though he’s never once failed to pick it up.
Today they’re finally cleaned up—the pieces of the mailbox are. But there’s still dog shit next to where the pieces were.
Once someone warned him never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.
He said he’s heard that before and Have you ever heard of Occam's Razor?
In the morning he walked by a guy in a side yard, shooting at an armadillo, yelling about ricochet.
I thought they liked armadillos here, he thought.
He looks up when dark shadows move over him. Something’s always overhead. He looks up even higher.
Once he counted and almost got to 60 but stopped. He thought, a lot is a lot.
Earlier he'd been thinking about whether or not he should buy a print of his favorite picture—a photo of a pink-headed flicker with its yellow wings spread. Later he found a cheap copy on the internet. If he buys it, how long will it take to get here?
The dog sleep talks in his own language, dreaming of chasing squirrels or something and a desert to dig a hole to fall asleep in and dream of chasing something else.
He and the dog have heard woodpeckers here. This season, he’s seen 3 thanks to the tilt of the dog’s head.
Here there’s a tendency for ease of misunderstanding, a local willingness.
A bird is chirping prettyprettypretty prettyprettypretty.
Here everything really does feel bigger. 30 fucking minutes to anything. Just to get half and half, driving, Christ. Here’s not a walker’s place.
Toy guns echo from somewhere deep in the neighborhood that pretends to be the woods. And look at the time—he had big plans today!
This morning he drove to one of the strip malls and bought a radio with a plug for an outlet. It can also take batteries if an outlet isn’t accessible. He thinks he should’ve gotten batteries and he might bring it outside to the far end of the yard and listen to music and burn something.
Incorrect synthesis of data or information.
He said: I apologize for being so annoying. The speckled God barking at the garden sculptures. The almighty dog of heaven, amen. Always talking about the facts.
He said: I misspoke, sorry.
He put the baggie of doggie teeth on the counter and it stayed there.
Once on a walk, he found the baggie on the ground. Knows they’re dog teeth, puppy teeth. Remembers when his was a puppy pinkly losing teeth in the kitchen rug.
Now pieces of carrots and celery lost there.
An errand but it seems so far away today. Difficult day to work. Moved the bay plant. Bird weather. Distracted nature outside. Warm, stuffy, and smoky.
Buying things he doesn’t need. There’s so little he needs.
The opposite of this weather is bird weather too.
He gets back from a walk with the dog. He’s walking up the drive and a car stops on the road behind him. He hears someone shout hey, c’mere.
It’s a neighbor who introduces himself by saying he still fucks his wife. The neighbor says he hates deer and calls his wife the secretary of war.
Listening to the neighbor say that, he thinks: While you’re fucking? Or in general?
Calf Mooed at Me.
He says, outloud and walking, That calf mooed at me.
The dog tilts his head.
I’ve seen three good woodpeckers here, he thinks, thinking about baking and wall painting and woodworking.
Red-cockeaded woodpecker are rare.
No, maybe a yellow-bellied sapsucker.
Yesterday he saw a doe smack a fawn in the head with it’s hoof, chase the few other deer around, and perform a somersault.
To give (someone) something inferior to or different from what they want.
I can’t think it through quick enough and have to stop now.
Standing he thought, I need to take more breaks. I got guilted into demolishing that chicken coup and now I feel like I need more to feel useful.
At the strip mall postal center a guy comes in and the lady behind the counter greets him as if they’ve known each other for years, then she asks him if he needs anything. He says nope just come to say hi to kitty-cat.
She says go right ahead but he is sleeping.
The guy woke the cat from its nap and the cat generally seemed to be comfortable and even friendly with the guy.
Driving home he thought to himself the cat might have once been that guy’s cat, thinking about how the lady behind the counter said 4 years ago the cat moved into the mail store and the guy’s visited every day since.
Here the loblolly are orange, so nauseatingly so. He used to like them better elsewhere, where they were blue-like and soft.
He wonders what happened.
Something bounces off something and again he’s thinking about that one guy talking. The guy’s got all these opinions about meteorology and they’re so boring.
We don’t have to argue about it but please, please, please, let me have the last word.
Nathan Dragon's work's been in NOON Annual, New York Tyrant, Fence, and Hotel. Nathan also co-runs a publishing project called Blue Arrangements.