Peculiar Pete

Illustration: Amanda Lanzone

He sat,

Looking through the rain stained window.

Peculiar Pete Paper.

The rain continued to pour,

Watermarks streaking across the glass,

Flowing west with the wind.

He was worried,

An eerie prickly feeling; swimming in his stomach.

Pink-Piper was gone,

For three days now, he hadn’t seen her.

He would tell his parents,

But nobody would believe him.

They all thought Pink-Piper lived only in his head,

A relic of cartoons he watched as a child,

Once upon a time.

He was thirteen now;

So not too long ago.

 

When the thunder came,

First with a flash, and then a roar in chase,

He nestled his pillow.

Chrysalism—

The tranquil feeling that find us inside during thunderstorms.

He never knew there was a word for it,

Before he found it in the dictionary,

The third time he was attempting to read it.

A knock on the door came,

And with it an echo of sadness.

He could share his Chrysalism with her

He wanted to

But his mother wouldn’t care

Feelings to her, were like cancers in your mind;

To be uprooted and expunged, on sight.

It was the same problem with most grownups.

They painted life,

Only in shades of grey,

Void of colour;

Dead.

With his paintbrush, rife with colour—

He was destined,

To be alone.

For feeling too much

He didn’t mind though.

He was alone, not lonely.

She smiled,

Laid his food on his table;

Then closed the door behind her.

They thought he was strange;

But it was okay.

He thought they were crazy.

 

It all started one faithful evening,

One much like this.

About seven years ago;

Heavy rain in a thunderstorm.

It was the first time he saw Pink-Piper,

The poor cat,

Alone.

Beaten by the rain.

Shivering in its pink collar, knotted in a sweet bow.

It was his day to be a hero;

A banana yellow rain coat and leaf green rain boots,

What better costume could a boy ask for?

And where are you going?

His father wanted to know.

There is a cat outside and it needs my help.

It is not your cat, go back inside.

But daddy, it’s ...

Then he had no word for the cat,

No name to paint it with.

With a heart deflated,

He climbed every step in a knee-high march.

When he was finally alone,

He cried and then cried some more.

How could his father be so cold?

 

It got worse the next time it was raining.

Again, Pink-Piper was there;

Cold and beaten, hurdled alone.

Again he donned his costume.

This time though, he had other plans.

And where are you going?

I am going to show Pink-Piper to God for a picture.

His father stared, confusion burning in his eyes

Who is Pink-Piper? And who told you God is out outside?

Peculiar Pete scratched his head.

You said God is everywhere? And Pink-Piper is a cat, the cat.

But of course, the cat.

Now he had a name, something in language to share him with.

At the very least,

He couldn’t be ignored.

He had ceased from being just a thought, or any old cat.

God is everywhere.

Yes, but you said he takes pictures in the rain, that is where the lightening flash comes from.

It was a lie his father had told,

To make him be good when it rained.

As it appeared, he was getting too good;

Being unnecessarily caring of cats that didn’t exist.

 

Peculiar Pete would come to find,

There was no God in the rain.

Not one with a camera anyway.

Everything he thought he knew

Was a lie.

Lies to make him,

Everything someone else wanted him to be.

From here on out, it was hard to trust anything the adults said.

Harder not just because they lied,

But because they never cared to look outside;

Outside their known little worlds.

Now he was here,

Trying to crack open the window.

Maybe if Pink-Piper smelled the sardines,

She might just come out to take a bite.

 

He heard the soft jingle of a wandering bell.

It was a reminder,

A reminder that eventually

The loners seek out themselves.

And together,

In their solitude,

They share more than can ever be spoken.

People like his parents will never understand.

They are the type to run from stars,

Because they have never seen one shoot before.

He was the type to run with them,

In wonder of where they are shooting to.