I had become so quiet and so small in the grass by the pond that I was barely noticeable, hardly there. I think they had forgotten all about me. I sat there watching their living room shining out of the dark beside the pond. It looked like a fairy tale functioning happily in the post-World War II gothic of America before television crippled the imagination of America and turned people indoors and away from living out their own fantasies with dignity.
In those days people made their own imagination, like homecooking. Now our dreams are just any street in America lined with franchise resturants. I sometimes think that even our digestion is a soundtrack recorded in Hollywood by the television networks.
Anyway, I just kept getting smaller and smaller beside the pond, more and more unnoticed in the darkening summer grass until I disappeared into the 32 years that have passed since then, leaving me right here, right now.
Because they never spoke during dinner, I think after they finished eating they probably mentioned a little thing about my disappearance.
"Where did that kid go, Mother?"
"I don't know, Mother."
Then they rigged up thei fishing poles and got some coffee and just relaxed back on the couch, their fishing lines now quietly in the water and their living room illuminated by kerosene-burning electric floor lamps.
"I don't see him anywhere."
"I guess he's gone."
"Maybe he went home."
I think we should all thank Brautigan for this and miss him like the true unsung hero he is.
Take me home...