When my mother used to wash our hair in the kitchen sink, she’d use a red rubber tray that hooked over the edge of the counter and angled down into the sink. Just like the streets of Duluth.
If you’ve been there you know that everything is pulled into the dark lake eventually. If you’re on South 36th and Superior and you don’t have the strength or the brains to fight gravity, you’ll soon be swimming or gasping for air.
The white birch trees were still lined up on the side of the road when I was there last. Still silent and wondering: ‘What happened and who’s gonna take care of this mess?’
I was there with Kyle once, after work in my sweaty clothes. It was July and hot then, even past midnight. That’s when we gathered driftwood and made our bonfire at the edge of the water.
We were alone and making that fire was good and easy; it grew fierce in no time.
The sky was full of Northern Mockingbirds; you could see them, silhouettes against the pale dark. They started singing all at once it seemed…
HeeeEEEK YeeeAAAYAH yyyyyeeee EEAAAAYYA
And when we’d finished our Hamm’s we threw the empties into the blaze and watched them turn red and later, melt and ooze like blackstrap.
Kyle, a born artist, made a sculpture of Jesus with molten glass that he’d shaped with a stick. When he cooled it in the water it hissed and made a small cloud of steam.
We were lonely he and I, and we cared little about tomorrow. All each of us wanted was someone to love.
When Kyle threw his glass Jesus far out into Superior, we both laughed. It was Duluth after all.
Everything is pulled into the dark lake eventually.