NIGHTSWIMMING

THINGS WOULD GO really well for everyone, every last one of them walking away unhurt and with their dignity left intact, if they’d just do Brother Buck the small little favour of shutting the fuck up.

The ones back at the diner deserved the admonishment, if maybe not the violence. What? They’d never seen a man walk in wet without a shirt before? He should’ve forgiven them, there’s a difference between people out to be disrespectful and those that simply didn’t understand, Brother Buck knew that, but still…

The DJ was testing his patience. The goons around him, falling about in hysterics at his every last word, did they truly find him hilarious, or were they paid to laugh that way and secretly wanted him dead? Why did the news speak of the rich and the foreign like they were the only ones affected? And who was this shorty all the singers wanted to do sexual things to in the club?

The radio had to go. He deserved a quiet night.

Back when they were up the river, Father Mills used to tell a story about a Japanese sky with two moons, and Brother Buck liked to picture them going round and round the fairest sun like a Ferris wheel, only without the screaming kids. Most days or nights, he saw nothing when he looked up, but tonight there really were two, in the sky, in the water.

He asked Mary if she didn’t agree that was the most beautiful sight they ever did see. Stuck on the dashboard, turned around backwards, she had the clearest view, but she wouldn’t say. Maybe she thought she’d wait till September, explain everything to his face, tell him she couldn’t forget that night either. Everyone deserved the chance to explain themselves, Brother Buck believed this absolutely, lend thy ears before ye shall pass judgement.

‘We’re home Mary,’ he said soothingly, cutting the engine dead and almost not hearing the clink of glasses by the pool above the laughter under his breath.

By Shihab S Joi
Hat-doff: 
Peter Buck/ Michael Mills/ William Berry/ Michael Stipe