Sunday, June 20, 2010

AMERICAN JIHAD

It is crisp and clear outside and the tables inside the Alley Cat are flooded with sunlight. She sits there, rail thin and not quite recovered from her arrival, hugging her over-sized mug of tea, a tempest tossed survivor clinging to the wreckage of a greater hearth and home. Casually well dressed in splashes of americana, pleats and creases saw-whet sharp and hinting at the tightly wrapped rubber bands that hum beneath her pale skin.

Her life is laid out before her with clockwork precision. Tea just so. Un-needed accoutrements clustered at the table’s edge at two o’clock. Notebook and fine line pen within reach and ready to bolster her already unassailable view of life. The center of the table, the seconds, minutes and hours of that clock are thwarted in their escape by a large, gilt-edged and well thumbed bible; an anchor given by family or friend to stay the drifting of her tiny dory on the active seas of curiosity. Her place is marked by a photo of her young man in his Sunday best, beaming at her in earnest, unaware, perhaps, that he is holding court deep within the book of Revelations.

Left hand skimming across the pages while her right takes copious notes, her face wears the serenity of one who knows their destination and what awaits them at journey’s end. Placid. Dispassionate. Youthful. A wrecking ball without tether. A toddler clutching a chrome plated revolver with its hammer resting on a chambered round.

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