~Meniscus Archives~

Spring 2004
Issue #3

February - April 2004

Sex, Not Just for Teenagers
Mr. Ruggles

Like No Other Time, by Tom Daschle
A review
by Kristi Spurrier

Maintaining Spirituality in the Void We Call America
Mr. Ruggles
Libra Seeking Balance
Melissa Bator
What 2004 Means to Me
The Tonic
Bush's Capitalism: 21st Century Entropy
Jon Heinrich
Don't Think Twice,
It's Alright

Mike Kirkpatrick
Cows in the Road
Dan Berthiaume
Love, at 100
Pete Pidgeon
Summer's Freckles
Wes Ratko
Not a Love Story
Sarah Erdreich
Miami New Years
Team Meniscus
Tuckerman Ravine
Jon Heinrich
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Ten tips for a successful Jazzfest
Chrystie Hopkins
Meniscus New Years Picks
Bootyjuice is a Band
Derek Gumuchian
One Double Grande Instrumental, Please (Hold the Flavored Syrup):
A Review of
Self-Titled Debut

Brian Gagné
Show Review:
Vida Blue, 1/3/04
Jackie Gleason Theatre, Miami, FL

Jon Heinrich
CD Review:
Spaceship Integration
Live From Nowhere

CD Review:
The Recipe
All You Can Eat
Love Is...
-Ryan Collins
Traded for Monkeys,
Livid [In Tall Grass]
What a Calamity!

-Brian Gagné
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003

Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003

State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003



Wesley Ratko
Published 2/14/04


Arthur dragged his suitcase away from the departing bus into the shade of the depot, blinded by the bright sun of a new summer, it’s light radiating off the whitewashed side of the building. The depot was a simple old shack tucked off to the side of the road along the shoulder. A tattered awning flapped in the wind. He was the only passenger getting off.

In the space of a minute the door had clunked shut and the bus moved on, leaving behind it a thick cloud of dust. Until silence returned to this sleepy, desolate place, he sat still, finally picking up his suitcase and moving off the road to the path through the tall grass he followed every summer. He knew this was the fifth year he would spend with his aunt and uncle, but it seemed like something he’d done his whole life. These were the only six weeks he really lived for.

By nature, they weren’t pleasant or fun people in any special way. Just plain folks who lived a simple country life, away from the city and the swelter his mother wished for him to avoid. These folks, his mother’s sister and her husband, had no children of their own. His mission now, as it had always been, was to fill a void; to keep them company and involve them with a family before inundating them with the attention they disdained.

Although the house was nice and their farm quiet, Arthur had, for the last two summers, looked forward to seeing Emma than anything else.

She had red hair and freckles, squinty eyes and bony arms. In the city she would have been called a tomboy, but out here she was free from that convention and could be herself. She was taller than Arthur; strong and strong-willed. Her father was a quiet man with a farm of his own. Arthur had only seen him from a distance, while doing chores at dawn. He never spoke, nor did he smile, but stared past the edges of his field, looking across the landscape as though waiting for something that never came. Arthur found him uneasy, and hoped he would never have to speak to him.

The gabled roof of his aunt and uncle’s house peeked above the top of the hill, just over the tall grass that lined this dusty path. His suitcase sagged in his arm and he set it down in the dust, sitting on it like a stool. Cicadas buzzed in the tall grass and in the trees and Arthur held his breath to listen. Far off in the distance, he heard an engine – maybe the bus – winding its way along the road beyond to the next stop.

He picked up the case and moved on toward the house, lugging its weight behind him and thinking of what he would say to Emma. What would she look like and when would he see her? His heart beat faster and his legs moved quicker. Something was happening below his belt in his shorts that was new and strange and not wholly unpleasant.

The mist from a field sprinkler caught him in the face, cool and wet under the intensity of the sun. In the distance, a bony scarecrow of a man rode a tractor in rows up and down the field, his eyes shaded from the glare of this day.

And then before him, as though by magic, Emma was there. She was lithe and beautiful, her skin freckly and pale, her red hair blowing in the breeze that carried the mist of the field sprinkler across their faces. Arthur was awestruck, surprised by the bevy of emotion that erupted from within him. He felt faint, his knees weak and wobbly, a sudden uncontrollable tenderness in his jaw muscles. Her radiance touched him in ways he’d never imagined, exposed him to feelings he hadn’t known could be felt.

“You’re early,” she said, “Ya beat me to it. I was gonna surprise you.”

He managed a shrug; barely aware his jaw was still hanging a little. She giggled a little and asked him about the bus ride. He said it was fine, amazed he managed that, and lugged his suitcase toward the house with her at his side.

Aware now more than ever in his life of his left hand, swinging out from his body a little, perhaps intentionally so, he felt her fingers intertwine with his and got chills. And in that moment he wanted nothing more than to protect her from the world, from father or anyone else who would harm her. He thought of the kids at school who had teased him, of the people at the bus who had looked at him wondering where someone so young was traveling to all by themselves and of his aunt and uncle. He thought of them and cursed himself for ever having thought badly of them, for ever having wished harm on them or feeling superior to them. He cursed himself because this new emotion that grew in his heart, radiating outward into the world and back along his interlaced fingers was sweeter and more powerful than anything else he’d ever known. He supposed it was love and wondered how he had never felt like this before and why he didn’t feel that way toward the rest of the world and everyone in it.

And without realizing it, the weight of his suitcase had vanished, the handle in his right hand light as a feather.


Meniscus Magazine © 2004. All material is property of respective artists.