Michael Kimball
Interview with Michael Kimball

The Way the Family Got Away -- continued
My Doll-Family, My People-Family, the Sun Outside, My Little Brother's Insides, the Big-People, and How They Could Have Made Me Another One of My Little Brother

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     My doll-family plays better at family than my people one does. My Poppa-doll got lost somewhere but Momma told me it was okay for me to make me another Poppa-doll out of string-clothes and buttons and him all kept together with popsicle sticks.

     The little doll he got left out under the sun one day once and the yellow-fever colored my little brother in sun-colored. We had to take my little brother to see big-people where they put stuff inside his mouth and touched on how bright was the color of his forehead. There was the poke-poke lady with all her more fingers. There was the fold-handed man that threw drops of water all around the room but that never made it rain outside.

     One more way they didn't make up to make him not as sun-hot as he was was ice cubes inside his diapers. One more way was saying baby and in and air and out from my mouth on him. One more way was coloring his skin back in skin-colored with my crayons. One more way was hanging his baby clothes up on tree-arms but that was only to be inside the shade.

     The sun-color got too bright and too inside under my little brother's skin until it burned his insides out inside his crib. My little brother lived with me and my doll-family after he burned up inside and big-people came over to see how he did it. Big-people carried food over but we didn't even feed any of it to my little brother. The rest of us ate all of it even though we were all already alive. One man had tree-arms that carried a treeful of red apples and green apples and that kept anyone else from catching any yellow-fever from my little brother.

     One more man pushed a button that made flashes of light that burned your eyes but did not make it so hot as to burn us up inside. The light-flashes made looking-pictures of my little brother on Momma's lap and one more way to make babies go away to alive. That man blew on the looking-pictures of my little brother until he was out of breath and which but that just left my little brother all small and flat.

     My little brother was even littler when he was dead. But more and more big-people came over to our house and one more man had more ways than me to keep my little brother alive. That man wore a burnt-colored knee-coat that was still warm. You could see how hot it was in his hot-colored face and the way he blew his cheeks out to get the hot part out of him. Momma told me that dead people was all that that man did but that that man wasn't going to take my little brother away from us. We were going to take my little brother away with us. That man was just supposed to get him ready to go.

     He undressed the clothes even though my little brother was already cold. But clothes can't be alive anyway and that man didn't keep going when he got down to my little brother's skin. That man took up a bucket of rain water and squeeze-clouds that he carried down with him out of the sky. That man squeezed the squeeze-clouds of rain water down over my little brother so it would drown him with the swallow of water and smoke the fire out. He dried my little brother down inside a towel like the one they wrapped him up in to bring him home in after he was born. That man unwrapped the towel from my little brother and rained handfuls of rain water up over his head and down over his neck and out the ends of his hair. We combed it out and it looked nice. That man smelled his nose down into the neck and shoulder and snuffled my little brother. That man touched my little brother's eyelids down with his finger and thumb like Poppa would pull the window-cover down before he would put us down for sleep. But how was my little brother going to see us anymore when his eyes were closed?

     That man stuffed cotton balls and worded-paper inside my little brother's mouth so he could see how to talk. That man got out the needle and thread and asked me how my little brother smiled. He threaded the thread through the needle and the needle and thread into and out of his lips so it could not be told. He got a moon-knife out of his night-bag and cut cuts inside both the elbows and the knees both. He pushed tubes into my little brother but we didn't feed him any food through them. The squeeze-pump sucked and pulled. It spit and pushed the blood. The tubes he looped into my little brother were outside-veins for the clear-blood that flooded the burned and dead-blood out from my little brother.

     That man let me touch where my little brother should have started up again but my hand never breathed up or down on him. We hit and pushed my little brother on his rib bones but that didn't start his heart beating up or down again either. That just made my little brother go all see-through and angel-colored so we stopped squeezing the squeeze-pump and pulled the tubes out and stopped the holes up.

     We colored his skin back in skin-colored with paint brushes from that man's night-bag. We painted his face and neck and hands back on him but it did not look real or alive enough even when it didn't even have to be pretty. That man told me let's dress him up nice so we put dress-up clothes on him but my little brother still didn't get up and live.


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