Tideland by Mitch Cullin

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By Mitch Cullin

A glance on the global during the eyes of a wildly ingenious younger lady in modern Texas.

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Just then I recalled my father on the Greyhound, holding the radio against an ear, listening to similar news broadcasts. "They’ll be searching for me,” he told me. " But during our trip, there was no mention made of him or my mother’s corpse, a fact which somehow disappointed him. "Seems I don’t matter much anymore, Jeliza-Rose,” he later said. ” And squatting there by his boots, I wanted to tell him how much he mattered to me-how it was good being at What Rocks with just him, even if it wasn’t really Denmark.

So I propped on an elbow, blinking tiredly, and studied the well-preserved remains of the boney Bog Man, who was stretched on damp soil as though sleeping, the arms and legs curved, his chin inclined. His face displayed a benign expression-the eyes gently shut, the mouth puckered. " I said. ” "Who knows," he said, slapping the book shut. ” Then he gave me a sloppy kiss on the forehead, saying I’d better go back to sleep, otherwise my mother and all the bog men in the world might get upset. And as he reeled from the room, I asked for the light to stay on.

For my mother, having lived a short life lacking much meaning at all, heroin offered nothing. The drug had run away with her as a teenager, and the experience was ultimately a mediocre one. Her warm, dreamy, carefree bubble had become a void. So, when going to her bedside, I knew who the real miserable creep was. And I knew she would eventually kick out, or throw the wet rag she used to wipe the sweat from her puffy face. Still, she never struck hard enough to make me cry. Mostly, she just ranted.

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