New Oil Well

New Oil Well
Mitchell Grabois

Adelaide of Burgundy became the patron saint of second marriages. Her first husband, Lothair II, King of Italy, was poisoned.
At the minor league ball park, we watch the Modesto Nuts beat the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, only their second win of the season. Wally the Walnut and Al the Almond prance around the foul lines. We yell, Let’s go nuts! I yell as loud as I can and the people sitting close keep an eye on me.
Her second husband called himself great, called himself holy. Adelaide knew the truth but would not share it. She had taken a vow of silence.
Some of the other fans move away—there are plenty of empty seats. I’ve already sung the national anthem at the top of my lungs, my voice out of tune and ragged. I’m a disabled vet. Not really—I just feel like one.
Her husband blessed her for it. He was vexed with loudmouth women. If it were up to him, he would have all female voice boxes removed at birth. What a different world it would be, he fantasized, as he drifted off to sleep.
Next to me, John stifles his anger. He’s not mad at me. He’s enjoyed my clowning for the forty years we’ve been friends. His career is killing bugs for farmers. He’s gotten angrier as he’s aged. He’s now a staunch republican. He likes imagining bugs writhing in pain as they die. He blames the poor for everything. He’s not religious, but fumes about abortion. No one should have the right to take another’s life, he says. His beliefs come direct from right wing hate-mongers he listens to as he drives his car from farm field to farm field. Mexicans are like wrenches or chemicals.
His silent and good wife, Adelaide, was a woman to be emulated, he told his friends at table, as their wives looked on with (hidden) sour expressions.
Balls fly from bats, soar briefly, are caught by outfielders. Life gushes up and out like water from a geyser. Under the influence of this complex chemical running through my brain, my heart is open, my mind unfettered, so different from my normal life, in which the pump is a miserly walnut in a leather sack.

Marijuana is legal in Colorado, and soon LSD and other psychedelics will be, and heroin and cocaine. Pleasure seekers from around the globe will join us here in the Rockies and the shadows of the Rockies. We will fill Coors Stadium and life will well up and explode into the sun like a new oil well.

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