Years ago I transported a meth addict and his girlfriend to an old, dour mansion on one end of Omaha. There was a stone wall and a large iron gate from which all the black paint had long ago weathered away. It stood in a rusted majesty, a sign of it’s resistance to time in the face of neglect.
The mansion rose out from behind the wall, the mansion encrusted it’s withered and brown ivy across it’s deep grey stone and icy, glass windows.
This was their friends home where they would have a room, they told me.
The sky was sharp white and opalescent yellow in those very early hours where the sun had just risen on that frozen January, February morning. Everything that met that sky turned death black against it. The gnarled trees across the inner yard, the edges of the buildings, the wall.
I barely asked them any questions, refused their money for ride. They insisted this was the home at which they would stay. All I asked them was their names. For the life of me I will never remember his girlfriend’s. It was something as common as Jennifer, maybe Tiffany. A name you might hear day-to-day in our age. But he told me his, his name was Rex.
And there we were. ‘King’, and me, my name, ‘Little King’. Two kings in one another’s company. For several moments we all looked on to the mansion behind the wall and gate. They thanked me one last time and got out of the car. They waved me goodbye, then waved me to go on. I waved goodbye to them as I watched them walk toward the gate.
I drove away.
(Note: My name, my real name, means ‘Little King’)