For his birthday we will sit at a picnic table under a lone tree burning in the desert, a heraldic tree the passing storm had left afire, a solitary pilgrim drawn upon before it traveled far and knelt in the hot sand and held its numbered hands out while all about in that circle.
I’d like to make him a birthday cake like a bloodstained stone, the marks of steel upon it, his name carved in the corrisible lime among stone fishes and ancient shells, with a serrated horizon of the Cascade Range stenciling a purple jag-toothed saw blade before the incadnadine residue of a sun recently gone to its reward. Things dimmed and dimming. The dry sea floor. The tools of migrant hunters.
I would light a candle and have him make a wish of the dreams of some world that never was or some world that never will be, encased upon the blades of men.
I would wrap his present with wrapping paper decorated with small owls that crouch silently and stand from foot to food and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as chowdog’s, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and same.
He would tear his present open and find the peregrine bones of a prophet. And silence. And the gradual extinction of rain. And the coming of night.
Happy Birthday, Cormac!
[all language above is taken directly from or adapted from the works of Cormac McCarthy. They are not my words. Except for the “happy birthday” part.]