The Lego Killing Fields

Recently I got the chance to stay

With an old friend

His house is a bizarre urban wonderland

With an actual tortoise 

I got to pet

I highly suggest

If you get the chance

To have that experience

My friend Casey is clever

His wife, Keli, is like beautiful fire

So smart

She burns through words the way I do

We had many delightful

Verbal sparring matches

That no one won

I was happy there

But the best moment at this

Unlikely utopia

Came gently


Casey and I joked as I asked him

If he remembered what I considered

Our first conversation

He said hello to me and used my name

I looked at him with confusion

And with a tone dripping with frustration

Sounding far too much like a curmudgeon 

For his young age

He said

I have been sitting behind you

In English class for six months

Oh sweetie

I said

My weak apology

And from then on

Through the years

Although we lost touch

My affection for

The oddly sweet curmudgeon 

Never faded

There was a day when I was nervous

My mind going too fast

Too many things

Too many thoughts

Just too much

Casey gave me a glass of water

And I smiled

My mind did not improve

The day went on

My mind snarling anarchy

Until Casey simply asked 

Wanna play legos?

Usually I would have refused 

I would have dwelled inside myself

That day I said yes

And like small children

We dumped legos on the floor

Laid on our bellies with our ankles up behind us

And Casey built cool things

I, having no mechanical skills

Made things that immediately fell


We laughed quietly

We talked quietly

I started to find lego people

And give them back stories

Then I dismembered them

We laughed even more

As I built them a graveyard

Propeller head man was our favorite

I don’t know how long we did this

It felt like hours

Hours of being a kid

Hours of having quiet, short


That meant more than we knew

And when it was done

The swirling vortex in my head

Had quieted

The anarchy was harmless

I was ready for that day

Because Casey gave me the

Best gift

So few people can do it

Make me feel small

Make me feel quiet

Make me

If even for a moment

Let go

And I needed it so desperately 

That stormy day

I never said thank you

I didn’t know how

But I write this saying

That sometimes the best present

Is a complex curmudgeon 

Too intelligent

Constantly striving for positivity

That wants to play with legos


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