from the collection of: d. heidel
It was there. It had always been there. It had never been there before. An aerosol can sitting on a park bench.
The bench looked out into nothing. A bench that has no eyes can never really look out into anything anyway. But if a bench is set with intention by persons who do have eyes, then we can say, “that bench is looking out over the water,” or, “this bench looks onto the park.”
This bench looked out into nothing, over nothing, onto nothing.
It was as if the blind God (who had created the persons who have eyes) had also set this bench: without direction.
It was there.
And so was the can that sat atop it: an ancient aerosol. Hair spray? Cooking spray? Spray paint? Impossible to tell. The paint on the outside of the can was gone. In its place, rust. A thick coat of it. Eating away at the integrity of the material. The material that had been crafted, shaped, and assembled by the hands of some of those with eyes. And now, look where that crafting and shaping and assembling had gotten this thing: it sat, wedding itself with oxygen, consummating this mating with fevered and slow-errupting blisters, (maybe) emptying its contents through some rupture along the now-gnarled seam. It sat, broken by its marriage, sitting on a bench that looked out onto nothing. What was left to it?
And so I raised my Crossman pellet gun. I raised it because I had nothing else to do on a Tuesday evening. I raised my Crossman pellet gun, stared down the barrel with one glistening, blue eye. Sighting the post over the rear staddle, I lined up the can. Squeezing the trigger, there was, for one beautiful moment, a bloom of orange as it erupted from the can – a child of men, of marriage, of intention; and then it evaporated and the evening smelled softly of Rustoleum.