Sunday, October 27, 2013

Buried Treasure

I’m still digging holes in the backyard. The dog sits on the steps. She can't figure it and wants to go inside. I've lost count of the holes I've dug. The map in my back pocket is stained and ripped. An ancient thing. Like the maps I drew as a child having buried some thing in a corner of the yard. Long ago. Far away. I walk off paces. Make turns. Follow vague directions. Arriving at an imagined X on the ground in a pirate font. I spear the spade into the ground, jump on with both feet, lean back hard, pull up the sod. I dig slowly now. The first holes went faster. Dirt flew. The dog was delighted. She stood close. Her whole body shook. She imagined me knowing something. Now, she tries to sleep and I rest after only a moment. Leaning hard on the shovel. I close my eyes and pass my hand over my face. Rub dirt into my eyes. The yard is a field of holes and heaps of earth. I keep hearing that Beatles song. The holes. They had to count them all. And now they know. I push the spade in again. The ground is frozen cold. Too hard. I’m getting nowhere. I sing the song to myself. Going back to the beginning, about a lucky man who made the grade. The dog whimpers. She wants out of this. I tell her to hang on. It’s alright, I say. I know it’s here somewhere. But she knows better. I consult the map. My fingers spoil it with dirt. Another crease becomes a tear. I count twenty paces in a direction that might be east. Turn ninety degrees. Walk to a patch of unturned sod. I sing the song. Dig in. Push. And pull. The dog shakes her head hard. Her tags jangling like an alarm. She lies her snout down on the steps. Sighs. We both know I'm doing it wrong. It’s getting late. And dark.