Of Two Minds

This entry is part 12 of 22 in the series Alternate Histories


It was Sappho, wasn’t it, in one of her fragments who coined the expression. But who hasn’t felt divided like that? My bleak mood amused another part of me, as if it were a barrel cactus or the word murder written with spoons. I mixed a cocktail of tequila, carrot juice & ash. In the old westerns, the protagonists used to say things like, “Now it’s time for a dose of your own medicine!” Like certain plants, they were toxic to themselves.

I found a road-side tree into which someone had driven over a hundred nails. I stared at it for a while until I realized it must have been a place to post notices: estate sales, lost dogs, candidates for sheriff. In the old westerns, the sheriffs pinned steel stars to their chests, & the same Indian actors kept dying over & over. I looked up: it was a bigtooth aspen. A wind was shuffling the full deck of its leaves, which were pleasingly blank.

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