Moonman Inbound, Part 9

So yeah, thinks the Moonman under the house, then I had some spending money. So he takes the bus downtown and goes to the dealership, and he’s just like any other goddamn regular citizen, so why can’t he take a look-see and maybe kick some tires like anybody else? But them dealership assholes are prejudiced sons of bitches who do not support our troops or believe that it is up to everybody to do his part. And just like that, another warning of the cops being called, and he’s out on his ass.

But not after we clean up this here mess we done made of the Earth, he thinks to himself, rolling over to his stomach. When we march on the city, and them damn librarians and big-shot salesmen are peeking through their window-blinds, ’cause they know they’re liable to get a laser-shot to the belly if they come out and try to talk to the Moonman like that again? Well, then he’s gonna get him that same truck he was looking at, and he’s gonna get one of the troopers, maybe Hernandez, ’cause he’s a pretty decent driver, to go real slow up and down the avenues, all the high-falutin’ people wide-eyed in terror and finally showing some discipline and obedience as the Moonman, standing loud and proud on the truck’s hood and holding his helmet under his arm, says through a bullhorn: “Ya’ll immigrant motherfuckers come on out, now. Ain’t nobody gonna hurt you, so long you put them mops down and get the hell back to your own country.”

So peaceful and perfect down here…so cool the dirt…fella could live in peace with just a shed and some shade…maybe a couple drinks, a girl…

Almost gone is the sun when once again he’s stooped over near the little door in the foundation, reinserting the rusty little hook into its eyelet and then standing back upright with a strained exhalation, arching his back, a hand on his hip while with the other he makes a half-hearted attempt to brush off some of the dirt. Above the saw-toothed crest of the stockade fence is a glare that gives way to the onslaught of blue on purple. Below that upper boundary all lays in shadow, the sinuous tendrils of grass dense and still. Back in the other direction once again: he can see the Moon.

Staring now back at that old shed, the shadows before it made all the more deep by the diminishing light, the wooden structure nestled in the convergence of the departing and coming worlds. Weeds and vegetation nigh-on impenetrable behind it, making of that space a bristling backdrop of spiky growth and non-identifiable species of verdure; that’s to say nothing of either the insect or animal life that doubtless has carved out from it a territory for itself, a space in which to feed and to breed, to defend from outsiders, in keeping with the natural order. As a boy it had been his job to go behind there once a week and bust that shit up with a weed-whacker.

“Clean that shit up,” said his grand-pappy. Daddy was in jail then, the space-aliens even at so early a date having exerted their obscene control over the otherwise honest purveyors of law, order, and justice who roamed the town. More often as of late, come to think of it, they’d been in the habit of pausing in front of the Moonman’s house in their squad cars, and sighting down the little space between the fence and the house they’d use spot-lights and other high-powered optics to spy on his shed.

Optics, like the kind he found in the shed that one day after whacking the weeds. Taking them out of their leatherette case, which was itself molded into two joined cylinders so as to perfectly accommodate their shape, he’d used those binoculars to spy through a knothole in the fence at the neighbor-girl’s window. He’d sat like that he didn’t know how long that day, waiting for something good, his jaw clenched so tight and his back at such an unnatural, half-stooped angle that when finally the approaching rattle of his grandfather’s truck obliged him to restore the optics to their case and then them to their shelf the Moonman had moved in a stiff and limping gait, his skull feeling as tight as the crotch of his pants, which only after some heavy breathing, making as though fooling with the weed-whacker’s business end, was he able to get to settle; and just in the nick of time, too, his grandpa hollering for him from inside the sliding-glass doors to come up here and give him a hand with these damn bags of groceries. What he’d been up to that day, prior to their eventual encounter in his shed: well, that wasn’t the last time that he’d had to resort to voyeur tactics–voyeur, just like the space shuttle was called–to get a glimpse of that tight little thing one yard over.

Just a damn wood fence, he lay in bed that night thinking. I could probably kick it down, them thin pieces of wood. Trying to keep me out. Shit, I could probably tear it open with my bare fists, that girl got me hot enough.

The weather changes and then one day she’s in her bikini, running back and forth through the sprinkler before laying face down on a towel, her butt cheeks shiny and plump. He knew the phases of the Moon, now; it was called gibbous when it looked like that, and that wasn’t too bad of a thought at all, he thinks, still staring at the shed in the dusk. Soon enough his night vision will take over, and knowing his own territory as he does, a mental map long ago committed to memory so as to displace for all time even the thickest covering of wild grass and encroaching seed-forms, he can walk wherever he likes, barring the odd aluminum can.

Turning around in place. Sliding glass doors ought to be closed. Don’t need no coon rousing me in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping a well-earned respite on the couch–too many chemicals for Moon munitions stored in my room, which gets no sun and therefore is perfect for such uses–and having me up and scrambling and reaching for that old rifle. But, meal’s a meal, he shrugs. He’s had his fill of his pills and he’s–

Sounds. Coming from out front…


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