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Tyrone Wilson's Metropolis

by Trent Walters

Tyrone Wilson grew up across the street from Metropolis--the details still snap like a Polaroid fished from a closet shoebox... vivid until you finger it.

Metropolis was trifling--as far as metropolises go--but its sundry skyscrapers impressed: jade-colored glass, clunky obtuse obsidian distortions, steel needles stitching heaven and earth, arches sculpted from dark marble and granite ledges topped by grimacing gargoyles.

Before the school bus arrived, Ty knelt in the bromegrass and peered through the glass-domed metro down at the traffic bustle. He liked the warehouse heavy equipment operators because that’s what he wanted to do when he grew up: lift heavy stuff men couldn’t budge.

On cold mornings when the machinery refused to turn over, Ty made sympathetic chugs by flapping his lips, and the engines started right up. Though Metropolis largely did not notice him, an operator gazed up and thanked Ty, which delighted him immensely.

Once a mother pushed a double stroller across a curvy road and, with her parka hood up, didn’t see the oncoming furniture truck. Ty shoved it into a stack of pomegranate crates and panes of green glass lining the sidewalk. At the whining steel, snapping wood and shattered glass, the mother whirled in the middle of the lane to gape.

For days, she counted beads.

Because she reminded him of Mother--warming formula, microwaving Spaghetti-Os, changing old diapers for new--Ty kept watch, saving her life again when her toddler turned on the old gas stove without the pilot light on. But the mother never learned of this and soon forgot the furniture truck.

The truck driver did not. He cussed out whatever inflicted this upon him. His life savings were tied up in that truck--not to mention his responsibility for the furniture, now lacquered kindling. The driver, it turned out, was a frustrated writer; and the incident ignited his muse. The book, detailing how a superior being must be inferior in a screwed-up world, became a bestseller. This wouldn’t have troubled Ty if the mother, whom he’d saved, hadn’t nodded agreement with the book. If everyone quit believing in superior beings, it reasoned, they would cease to exist; the universe would make sense.

That seemed as good as any way to ask Ty to leave.


Years later, whenever he met someone from his old neighborhood, he’d hedge around the crazy question. No one remembered Metropolis. Only a weedy parking lot where people dumped their defective appliances. Which made more sense when he thought about it.


Very nice!

Posted by: Borges | July 8, 2008 4:09 PM

Thanks, Borges! :)

Posted by: Trent | July 8, 2008 9:57 PM

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