The Squish

I was startled to be there …

on the floor. 



Flattened like a beaten boxer. Surrounded by chair legs and sofa bottoms. Gawked at by books that had been leaning on each other for years.


On my back in the autumn dusk. Mattressed on my favorite carpet … gazing up at recessed-lights that looked like perfect little moons …


under the stare of painted faces that seemed to lean out of their picture frames.

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But I wasn’t alone.

I could hear the commotion of life … folks laughing  … talking over each other.  I love that racket.

But an old man doesn’t belong on the floor.

It makes for bad headlines.

It all happened so suddenly. I just thought I should plop down. Sag myself as gently as I could … and as gracefully as I could.  Without denting my head … or making a thud … or breaking anything.

The room just flipped upside down …

and it felt like a different universe.

My chest was heaving up and down … up and down … up and down. Air bellowing over my lips. And I wondered what they would wonder when they found me … here … on the floor.

Then it got silly. 

These gentle hands first touched my thigh … then pressed on my stomach … and fumbled with the buttons on my shirt.

And I just laughed out loud.

I couldn’t help it.

It was all so soft … even ticklish … and that surprised me. 

I couldn’t not smile.

The yanking at my shirt. The massaging of my heart. And I thought … this is quite the scene… an old man …  flat on the floor …  havin’ a very fine time of it.

And so I raised my head … to see those hands … and there was this perfectly round face just inches from mine. 


And her sweet breath blew over my mouth …

and I drew it in as deeply as I could. 


Her blue-blue eyes tranced me.

She slipped her hands around my neck …

and squished me into a laugh. 

And I was very fine on that floor.


Denis Ian

A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.

~Carl Sandburg~


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