At Crazy Willy’s place, that old farmhouse flat built with yellow wood, sun rays come through the windows and reveal dust, forgotten coins, and one rotten shriveled black grape tomato. At least, that’s what it appears to be.
When I asked Crazy Willy “What is that?” He said “I don’t know,” then, ATE IT.
Just outside the windows, at dawn, sparrows follow a familiar path of flight in and away from their nests. At dusk, crickets pipe in the Orchard with the gentle sweet sway of tree branches and grass; sounds that make you feel human.
The Orchard is visually and audibly intoxicating. Each tree has its own character and shape. Some trees look like they want to hug you, others are fortresses protecting their precious fruit. Some are small but plentiful, others are big, shaggy and green, with not much fruit. Some have Robin bird’s nests with little speckled blue eggs and lady bugs that scurry up branches and rest on leaves while pesty birds peck at the most perfect peaches, which I must let fall to the ground to become a sugary treat for the Orchard’s band of wild turkeys, or to shrivel and blacken, to rot and ferment.
When the wind picks up and the sky grays, the Orchard broods like a turbulent sea.
Rain makes the peaches rot and the apples vibrant. Rain dictates everything.
Crazy Willy was here in March, and pruned the whole Orchard, alone. He prefers to be alone, playing and listening to old gospel and blues music. However, two nights a week he lets me come over and sit in his recliner, which is a big deal I hear.
He lets me come over even though I have come close to knocking over one of his several guitars which are in a disorderly orderly way in the bathroom, living room, and bedroom. There is one in a laundry basket, one set against a stack of books, some on the floor, and two occupying half his bed.
One night when we were listening to a George Jones record that started skipping, he asked me to fix it. Welp, I moved it instead of liftin it an puttin it down. You should have seen the look of disbelief on his face. But that man has a head of patience and went back to lookin just like a Buddha the next.