Fugue 20 - Fall 2000 (No. 20)

Page 26

Matthew Sullivan

Last Wishes: Sisyphus Retold Theresa, swaying through in her aged Volvo, is thinking about the preybird that she cut down, mid-flight, with the speeding gri ll of the car. She's thinking about it and it is 10 minutes gone, its event complete, but she's thinking: speeding into that sunlight bend, and seeing the bird- some falcon thing, twitchy with wind-as it swooped from a sprucetop into a drop that ended in an explosion of feathers against the car: some bad pillowfight. Feathers wiffle in her windshield wipers, and she looks beyond them, bloodless, to drive. Tomorrow afternoon, Theresa decides, she' ll doubledunk the basketballs. She' ll fmish teaching her eighth period typing class, pull on her grey sweatsuit and while the girls are stretching and giggling and waiting for practice to begin, she' ll slip two balls free from the net bag. She'll charge up the fu ll glossy court dribbling both- thunk-thunk, thunk-thunk- and the girls w ill tum: Flygirl's doin' it! And Coach Theresa In-Yer-Face Willenbring will leap furious from the top of the key into her famous doubledamned-right-dunk. Swishswish. The girls wi ll hoot and laughYou go, coach!-and if there are any men around-other teachers, her weenie of an assistant- they' ll tum away embarrassed. She' ll blow her whistle nonchalant and the girls' ll spit out their gum and the two with braces will slob in their mouthguards, and practice will begin with the taste of Theresa's treat. Seven feet tall, and she might look clumsy as hell, but Theresa, no use fakin ' around, she' ll be in quite a mood by tomorrow afternoon. In yerface. The bird's feathers twitch. The morning is gone already as Theresa finds in her afternoon of mountain driving that the Ole Volvo needs a rest: engine light hill # 21