They crawl to the shipyard through the desert. By crawl, not crawl. Walking slowly, resigned to their fate, a singular fate. If they get to the shipyard on time, they get to work; if they are late, they get their heads lopped off. It makes but little difference to the two wanderers, home being nowhere, and nowhere being home. There is no one in the world, except for the shipyard workers, but Olive and Sea Nathan. How they managed to survive is anyone's guess. Perhaps they were part cockroach, finding the right nook or cranny with which to meld their thin, brown forms so that not a crack could be discerned, only a thin, dark line in what might have been a crevasse at one point in time. "Oh, my," says Olive, "a lone rattler." "A dead rattler," says Sea Nathan. "It's the only rattler we've seen in this here desert," Olive says. "Not the only dead rattler I've seen," Sea Nathan says, "ought to be more observant, you should." "Ought to pay more attention to the dead things is right," Olive says, "so that when I'm a dead thing I can see myself too." "You won't be seeing anything," Sea Nathan says, "It'll be like the cockroach position." Sea Nathan knows about himself. He wipes his hands on his thick brown trousers. "Ain't no point in pretending it'll be no different."
Copyright, 2009, Jennifer Chesler, All Rights Reserved