Three boys playing marbles in the rain.
One day in the years to come the one with the flashing lights on his battery-operated sneakers will be the manager of a car dealership where every month they fire the worst-performing salesman. He will hit his wife on the nights when he drinks too much. Every week he will buy her chocolates and roses to make up for it. On the night she leaves him, last one of his life, he will cry himself to sleep in the front seat of the Eldorado that once belonged to his father, the very seat where his mother fell in love with a brutal and stupid man just because he looked a bit like Clark Gable in the dashboard light. The man who was once a boy taking all the marbles will be drinking warm beer and listening to a love song that is yet to be recorded. The car will be parked in the attached garage, engine running.
One day the boy with the thin wrists will be a disc jockey at a Vancouver nightclub. In the hours before dawn he will sit on the edge of his bed reading personal ads from the local paper:
Straight White Male, unemployed, no prospects, bad attitude, large collection of fantasy comic books seeks woman with large mutual fund portfolio and health club membership. No Weirdos, please.
GWF looking for woman willing to run away and join the circus. Must like steel guitars, black velvet paintings, train whistles, tarot cards, zombie films, thin crust pizza, leave-the-lights-on sex, blender drinks, midnight canoe trips, stir-fried noodles, Groucho Marx, Volkswagens and smoked oysters.
SWF, attached, seeks daytime encounter with Japanese fugu chef. Must be open-minded and have own ouija board.
Last night at The Railway Club. Me: hideously disfigured poet drinking plum brandy and chain smoking Turkish cigarettes. You: twenty-something gypsy with raven black hair and torn leopard-skin stockings dancing to Everyday I Write the Book. Our eyes met across the crowded room, and I felt as though you might be the woman who could tear my beating heart out from beneath my ribcage and devour it before my eyes. I must see you again.
The boy with the silver bomber jacket will be incinerated by a high yield nuclear device detonated over a city of the Eastern Seaboard. He will cease to be formed of flesh and blood, and will become a shadow burnt onto the wall of an abandoned opera house. In the instant of his death, he will smile and enigmatic smile.
The boy with the pink hair will be abducted by aliens this very night. He will be lifted from his bed by means of a powerful particle beam and transported via silver ship to a watery planet on the farthest side of the Milky Way. He will see rings of ice surrounding distant moons, he will fall in love with creatures who speak out of the palms of their hands, their voices sounding just like rain blowing against stained glass windows. In his pocket will be his very last marble, ruby red with tiger’s eye, the lucky one he saved.