The Asphalt Clock

 – a story in six parts  – 

The heavy grey clouds hung low over the steady irregular chopping of the roofer’s rake, muffling the dull, sporadic slap of the broken shingles onto the apron of concrete below. This once strong, safe place of refuge from the the wet and the flailing wind, now pierced by an invading pike of sweet gum, mirrors our understanding (our beliefs) of all we had come to appreciate about houses, about God. So, now, weekly, we pause, re-group, and mark time with a dwindling pile of broken shingles as they are shoveled, offering-like, into the trash can. Every Wednesday, the rumbling prelude of the garbage truck signals its imminent collection from the coffers of these rolling green waste containers. Week by week through this litany of renewal, the evidence of the storm’s struggle to off-throw its earth bound shackles, slowly withers and evaporates, as we mark off time in shoveled leaves of asphalt, and peer over into the mystery, the uncharted territory of a renewed vision.

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