Once he understood the metaphorical nature of the world, he could see the patterns everywhere—shards of fractured reality, the sun on the thread of a spider web.
“Joshua has problems with focus,” the teacher said. Worried parents uncomfortable in dress-up clothes. “He’s so easily distracted. He doesn’t work up to his potential.”
“Do you?” the mother said. “Do any of us, all the time?” The father tried to calm her, but she was fierce defending her son, their son. “Joshua is a good boy. He’s not like the others.”
The three grown-ups avoided talking about the mystery that had befallen their little town those September nights 6 years ago, when the comet filled the sky. After the comet, there had been the rain of frogs. Then, the proliferation of garden snails. The unexpected pregnancies. The precocious offspring, each different, but each possessing an unusual talent. Joshua was one of them.
The teacher sighed. “You have a point. That’s why I would like you to consider meeting with Dr.Shimizu. She’s an expert in languages. She’s been working with the inuit groups, you know.”
“We’re not talking about snow, here.” the father said. ” he’s a dreamer, not a poet.”
“She can help him find the words,” the teacher said.
Joshua studied the pattern in the linoleum. He couldn’t tell them about the words in the walls, the voices he could almost make out amid the roar of static.
There were three he could identify more clearlly than the others. One was a rumbling bass soumd, the second a lilting baritone. The third was high and trilling, like a song he couldn’t identify.
He had only recently learned their names–Lemmis, Shoshostra, Tetuatl.
In his mind, he could picture them–Lemmis, short and burly with flashing eyes and a big black beard. Golden Shoshostra, with long braids and a flowing white dress. Tetuatl was tall and skinny, with a head like a giant bird.
And he understood, all but the words, that he was like them, like them.
In his dreams he was with them, arm in arm in arm, walking down the wide boulevard of a bright new city, the lights a line of green.