Apr 5, 2005

An imaginary frame

We went outside, after. Or maybe we were kicked out, eight boys from five to ten wandering from trouble to trouble around the farm and likely to spend the afternoon kicking your furniture into pieces and taking turns pulling ourselves up to dangling from the sink counter on our elbows to compare faucet drinking methods, if you didn’t kick us out. We were probably kicked out, after the movie, and we went out past the community garden into the woods behind the shop with the shuffle of a gang of little boys thinking of what to do.

“Guys,” one of us said, probably one of the older ones, “guys. Let’s find two trees close enough together to play they’re pillars we can push down like Samson.” So we tramped through the woods behind the shop looking for trees that were big enough to look like ancient temple pillars and close enough that we could put our palms against both trunks and push. Trees don’t normally come like that. The biggest found two where he could touch, but we objected.

Nah aunh. No way. You couldn’t push down big pillars with the tips of your fingers.

Samson could.

Nah aunh.

Yeah he could.

Nah aunh, he didn’t just touch them. He had to push so his huge muscles came out.


And we kept looking. We finally found two, on the edge by the road, leaning into each other. We each took a turn being framed by the trees imagined as pillars imagined as a last dramatic act of roaring destruction.

You’re blind, we’d say, close your eyes. And you got like a huge chain around your neck.

Each by turn bent over in pretended pain and anger and acted chained down and closed his eyes to be blind, while the other seven boys stood around as stand-in Philistines. He shook his head where imaginary hair was growing back and put each palm against a tree and pushed so his huge muscles came out and the temple would collapse and the people would fall down through the ceiling. He yelled and we all yelled and then the next boy took a turn.

Then we shuffled off looking for sticks and thinking what to do.