Our Names Are Written In Water

by Dennis Hiatt

When you reflects on your life it seem like a straight
path from birth to the point where you find yourself peering
into the gathering shadows. Looking forward there is only
darkness no insight or cunning can penetrate. Knowing this,
you understand your experience, intelligence, and hard
learned life facts are no more than a candle held flickering
to blackness that leads to the grave.
Sitting in an up-scale Thai restaurant I ask my daughter
what she thought of our family, thinking, perhaps, her young
eyes could see clearer than mine. "We're a beautiful people."
She paused, eyed three young women who've just entered and
added, "Horny too."
Passing us in a delicate swirl of light perfume and
healthy girl sweat, three bare midriff elfin, baby dykes with
pencil thin eyebrows, and chic art hair cuts, swaggered in
like cool young gunfighters straight off the cover of Bad
Baby Butch Vogue. Half way to their table one said something
with a snicker, the second looked on knowingly, and the third
smiled like runway lights firing up to bring home a crippled
bomber lost in the small black hours of a rain swept English
night. I sighed deeply, knowing only too well I'd never
again see those warm lights beckoning through the thickening
fog of my middle years.
That WW2 bomber motif works well for my nosing into
middle age. One engine is shot out, and I've feathered one to
save fuel. The Tail Gunner's dead, and the Ball Turret
Gunner's low on ammunition. The Radio Man is picking up
mostly static, but occasionally the German voice of a ME109
pilot will come through loud and terrifyingly clear. They are
out there in the dark and they are hunting us. My Navigator
thinks we should be over England, but the cloud cover's too
damn thick to tell. I know we're lost, and, up a head, in the
mist, the face of a mountain is waiting for us like the fist
of God. So I'm taking the broken old girl down while I still
have enough fuel to maneuver. Maybe, I can find a highway,
or at least an open field. Even shot up, she's a tough ol'
bird, and I've got a steady hand on the wheel. As we slip
through the clouds I pray that I will see something besides
water down there. Looking at the girls I think, "Wish me
My daughter watching my melancholy face leans across the
table and whispers, "Send them a note dad. Tell them you're
not really that tall, you're sitting on five platinum VISA
I blow on my soup. Smile at my lovely child, and
whisper, "Die bitch."