Proximity Friend

Maureen Miller

The scene, our drive: The volume was on mute, cousin crowning outside D.C. during the low-speed telecast—perhaps he was sedate and slick as through a slit, because what was protracted was I think if I was not in bed by then (we knew what not to ask about our aunt and what with Bullets not into postseason decision trees), I practicing French horn (a fifth grade innocence project in our family piano room, was never used and never practiced in)—the trial of the century, to lie on 30 minute practice records in a room with great AC!

And, sadly, I can never tense and frown the muscle anymore against cool rusted rented mouthpieces, against my lip reversals, embouchure twain thirds, the up one trumpeter/trombone, the down French horn, between Marcia and Chris Darden hand positions were I an Idaho survivalist I’d save resources for Home Pride loaves and lettuce lightly salted in the den and invite Rosa Lopez my soul into my living room to watch instead of practic- ing—the Tupperware synthetic the Brentwood limo swells rejected become the Brentwood hello.

Like how I did when—stains to which I’m witness at a music stand that creaks making Shapiro furrow stares at chamber orchestra scoresheets, white stenciled on black, stating owner on the stainless stand, playing chromatic scales, Garcetti referendum votes on F-tuned horns, oiled B-flat valves less interesting than unctuous F. Lee Bailey cross groupies, oil lubes my gold man’s tubing and stains the family rug all Bruno Magli—

My biological’s name is also Fred who said “100% not innocent, b!” (he called me “Bean” not “b” but “Bean” sounds white as I was, quiet as cone-shaped mutes and has-beens)... though what is real when darkness is forensics!

So my Akita paws clutch windowsills still so I can reach guesthouse each post-practice to judge a genocidal racist, perjurer, America’s worst night mare and the personification of evil—heil Mark Fuhrman! Hindsight is Stosseloid! Lay me, Hugh Downs!

You must acquit yourself of notion that above don’t fit! You must convulse at wash mirrors, swish Oral-B as you convince yourself that that for this &c. &c.—Hindsight is Mezzaluna! Lost eyeglass half-moons!

I wish to forage in the white Ford Bronco of my soul unopened duffel bag of race as I convince myself again that that for this (you can forget the that and this, I can’t forget the verdict! Practice adulthood! I still have no self- discipline!)

Changes have always been too much for me, Orenthal, Cowlings, & the Conn 10D.