Matthew J. Andrews
It’s All Right
Bob Dylan looks back at the house, but he doesn’t see her in the window, so he starts walking down the road with his guitar slung over his shoulder. He looks at the clouds, notices they look like mushrooms, and starts imagining a war. He listens to the wind and tries to copy the sounds on his guitar. He sees a book in the dirt, The Book of Outlaws, and spends some time reading it. He puts rocks in his mouth and tries singing with different pitches. He looks at the sky again and this time it’s blue, endless, and he feels lost in it. He looks back at the house but doesn’t see her in the window.
The Thin Man
Mr. Jones is frustrated. Something is definitely going on, but he has no idea what it is. He often writes to Bob Dylan looking for answers. “Dear Mr. Dylan,” he writes, trying to contain his frantic penmanship, “Can you please explain to me what is happening and why I can’t see it?” Mostly there is silence, but sometimes Bob Dylan responds with doodles of circus tents teeming with frogs or cartoonish portraits of celebrities. Sometimes he sends newspaper clippings about city council meetings or high school baseball games. Sometimes it’s just an envelope of Scrabble tiles that cascade onto the floor when he slices the envelope. Sometimes it’s a few flower petals cradling a dead bee. Mr. Jones finds only more confusion with these responses. He takes them to a psychic, spreads them out in front of her crystal ball, and pleads with her for understanding. She looks at them for a while as she hums. “I’m sorry,” the psychic says, “But can’t you see what’s happening?” There’s a record playing in the background, and even though the volume is low, Mr. Jones recognizes the tune. He tries to sing along, but he can’t seem to find the words.
Although he is driving safely and at a reasonable speed, Bob Dylan’s motorcycle slips on the asphalt and he slides off the country road, into a ditch. He is badly hurt, his back broken and his head pounding. He lies there for hours, months, years. God steps out of the bushes and the two lock eyes for a while. “Well,” Bob Dylan says, “Ain’t you gonna help me?” God shakes his head and Bob Dylan chuckles. A moment of silence, both of them looking up at the stars. “Will you at least sit with me?” Bob Dylan asks. God nods solemnly. He sits down next to Bob Dylan, runs a finger through his hair, and sings softly. Bob Dylan looks up at the stars.
Matthew J. Andrews is a private investigator and writer whose poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Orange Blossom Review, Funicular Magazine, and EcoTheo Review, among others. His debut chapbook, I Close My Eyes and I Almost Remember, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. He can be contacted at matthewjandrews.com.