There is a life I never lived, stopped short dazed on the roadside, stunted by smoke and ash, waiting to become the stepchild. One last astonished look at the ruin, the grave it had become, I turn take the hand of a man look for the way out, into the air beyond the circle of smoke. Now in these seasoned days, returning to my people, the perfumed aunts, uncles with quarters in ham hock hands, cousins – my only brothers and sisters. I find that child, still dazed, astonished by the mounds of dirt and what they hold. The world disappeared into the ground, joy and trouble rolled into the earth, a life, an era, an epoch of love, and somewhere my parents and brother wait. I take that child by the hand, turn his back to the stones and watch the sunrise over smoky Carolina hills. In the pond at our feet fish jump into the orange light, hang above the mist, pausing, shimmering, still as air, wild as wind, breaking away from the life of water into an alien world of parched air and light, a majestic dance, breaking patterns, opening possibilities, new ways to new places, before slipping back into their destiny. But destiny can turn on the barb of a hook. A future can be vandalized by a spark in the night. Like “water in water” life and fate disappear one into the other. Quotation from George Bataille The Pub is open drop in for Open Link Night.