My fingers were so cold that I could hardly take off the gloves I had fashioned from the remains of my last Kraft Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallow. It was one of those colds that made the world seem still. Frigid tundra stretched in every direction for miles. This was the spot, this was where he was.
Frost filled in the font indentations on the slate tombstone, but the words were still somewhat distinguishable. I scratched away what little ice I could before having to put my numb hand back into my makeshit Kraft Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallow glove. I didn't clear off much ice, but it was enough to read the inscription:
When The Weather's Hot & Sticky, There's No Time For Dunkin' Dickie...
The sprinklers had just turned off, leaving a mist in the air above the lettuce and other vegetables. It was a healthy looking produce section, at least as healthy as non-meat produce can look.
Two women reached for a squash at the exact same time. Their hands touched like two earthworms coming out of the dirt after a rainstorm. Chickens love earthworms, as do fish. In grade school Jordan Thomas ate earthworms at recess. He went on to win the state championship in the 100 meter dash. That's why they wrote that popular book Eat, Pray, Love. "Get Rich or Die Tryin,'" Curtis Jackson always says. He's 50 Cent, even though he's worth at least like a bagillion dollars. The women made eye contact as they withdrew their hands.
"It's such a small world," said the woman in the polkadot pants and spaghetti strap top, holding her shopping basket just above her waist.
"It certainly is, Debra," said the woman who I went ahead and assumed wasn't named Debra, although if she was that would make their having a hay day about simultaneously touching a squash make at least a little sense. She was wearing a yellow sunhat, a polkadot top, and spaghetti strap pants.
Debra set down her basket. She put a hand on the other woman's face. "It's a small world, after all," said Debra. Debra took the other woman's hat off, put it on her head, and smiled. The other woman smiled too. Debra tilted her head slightly. The other woman did the same. They gazed into each others eyes as if they were black holes. The women leaned closer and closer, as if to kiss.
Then Debra slapped the other woman and walked away.
Small world, they don't even know, I thought. I closed my eyes and sank a little lower in the hot tub, letting my arms rest perpendicular to my body atop the pool ring I was floating on. It was so warm and thick, that sauce. A bubble popped on the surface, getting clam chowder in my eye. The crockpot was the perfect temperature for a good soak. I needed it, too, having seen just how small and just how cold the world really is.
A gigantic metal hand reached under me. Panicked, I slipped out of the donut I was using as my floatie and dived down. I held my breath and waited, then came back to the surface.
It was a ladle. Not-Debra slopped some chowda into a cup and put a cap on it. There was a red handprint on the side of her face. She touched the warm cup to the spot. A tear dripped from her eye onto the cup.
"If only it were a pumpkin," she said. She wiped her eyes with the shoulder of her polkadot shirt. You could totally see her vagina because her pants were made out of spaghetti straps. Woh! She lowered the cup from her face. "If only it were a pumpkin..."
"It wasn't," I said. She looked down at me. She was still sad, but also a little confused, probably because she couldn't figure out why she wasn't chilling in a clam chowder crockpot. But that's her life not mine I can't make that choice for her these are just the things I do with my own tremendous life. Boizonga! Zerp zerp zerp. Barook!
"Don't you get it? Look around you," I said. Debr-isn't looked up. There were piñatas and streamers and balloons everywhere. It was a combination party store grocery store, and a very spicy one at that. A cha cha! Reba McEntire!
She nodded. "I think I get it now."
I was standing on the rim of the crockpot running in place in slow motion. It was very good acting and definitely looked like I was actually running, just in slow motion. The best part was when I made it look like I slipped and fell like at the pool, even though I totally wasn't. Oh my gosh it was some really good physical acting.
"It's too hot and sticky in here," she said.
I was half bummed because she missed out on my unbelievable routine and half happy because she connected the dots. "Take what you can get," said, uh, no one!
"No time for dunkin' Dickie," I said. There was a carrot floating in the chowder. Carrots kind of look like fingers, I guess. "No time at all."
Come October, most people are plenty done rollerskating. The weather's changing, the season's changing, and most people are plain tired of having to constantly unbuckle the belt around their head to take the pillow folded over it off because helmets are just a social construct invented by rich people named "Mom and Dad." As most people are hanging up their 4x4 shoe trucks, something is a little different.
The sun still rises early in the morning but seems a little farther away. The wind blows less casually. The clouds are fatter and lower. Finally, when autumn is truly set, the dew stops. The grass is wet, but it's a different kind of wet.
People don't plant pumpkins--pumpkins plant themselves. They do it sometime spring or summer then come fall when the frost crisps their orange skin, some old coot goes out to the patch and snatches them up for a pie making orgy.
It didn't always use to be that way, though. Back in the good old days, a brave man used to rollerskate the whole land. He was like Johnny Appleseed, except real and without such a dumb fucking name. Johnny Appleseed? Good luck with that one you Daniel Boone wannabe. This man had the grooviest sunglasses and flowingest hair in all the land. Some say he grew it out every year just to cut it into a glorious mohawk every winter, but that would never happen nowadays because no one rages anymore. His name was Dickie Dunkin, and one thing was for certain: he loved to rollerskate. And also he planted all of the pumpkins. He also was a tremendous painter and a hell of a tuba player. Those five things were certain.
Dickie would rollerskate all the world's soft fertile patches laying his seed. Then no one would see him all spring and summer, no matter how hard they looked. Admittedly no one looked that hard, but still, they didn't see him. Then, when summer would roll out and fall would skate in, leaving a fresh frost on all the land, Dickie would skate back and harvest the pumpkins.
That's why it's called Thanksgiving.
But as time went on and people grooved less, they forgot about Dickie. Dickie planted the seeds and pulled the pumpkins still, but it just wasn't the same. There were too many wars and way too many sports scandals. Plus hippies were going rampant and even though he sounds exactly like a hippie, Dickie wasn't a hippie. So Dickie rollerskated to greener pastures, infinite icy pastures.
But When The Frost Is On The Pumpkin, That's The Time For Dickie Dunkin
I buckled the belt around my head, keeping the pillow bent over it in perfect makeshit helmet fashion. It was a cold that made the world seem still, but not too still to rollerskate.