Mudlark No. 56 (2015)

She woke in the night

and all she could think of was Here we go. The first time it came to her, her gut flipped as if once more she was on the Mad Max in that beach town with her dad, the whitewash worn from its wood frame—you could see the splits in the beams, hear the cogs slip, the cars roll back then get a grip then Here we go, her dad would say, and down they did go—too fast, she now knew, for the way it was built: cracked cross-struts, torqued tracks.

When Mike said it, though, there was no dad, no ride, but the fact that he said it, and when he said it, made her love him more—though she knew that his use of it merged somewhere with the words of her past.

He did not just toss it off, she thought, and as she tried to sleep, him next to her, his big back in the too-small bed, she went one-by-one through the times he’d said it: Here we go as they turned, faced the crowd in the church for the kiss, Here we go as he helped her into the car and sped downtown for the birth of their kids, Here we go at the All rise! when the judge came as their son was on trial for the drug charge—an ounce of weed in his car—Here we go as he stood to speak at his mom’s wake, long intake of breath...

And the half-heard Here we go’s—beer in his hand, the ballgame tied at the end of the ninth, or him poised to dive into the cold lake, or the Oh, here we go when the right-wing nutcase on T.V. launched into his rant on health care and the ne’er-do-well poor... or last week, when his grandson cried & he bent to pick him up, the here that time twice as long as the we go—

Years of this. We’re near the end now, aren’t we, she thought.

Gerald Fleming | This is the town
Contents | Mudlark No. 56 (2015)