Standing By

by Guy Biederman

The voice on the radio says they love me as I wait for the music to resume, and then asks for a donation, any amount will do. Siggy from Sarasota comes through and receives a CD collection of Bach for their generous contribution. Against a backdrop of ringing phones, radio voice reminds me how Mozart brightens my day, comes to me commercial-free, and what’s unspoken: Donate now, we won’t play music ‘till you do.

The RV park doubled the rent, and my rig has been 86’ed from every free lot in town. I’m pinched – patience is what I can pay today, I tap on the dash with my thumb. At last radio voice mercifully relents, and lovely Max Richter music inspired by Virginia Woolf in the garden fills my cab, and this not-exactly-Eden Walmart parking lot transforms – like me, like Siggy, like radio voice. I hear love will do that.

Guy Biederman is the author of Translated from the Original: One-inch Punch Fiction (Black Lawrence Press) and five other books of short prose and poetry. His work has been published in Carve, Bull, MacQueen’s Quinterly, great weather for MEDIA, The Disappointed Housewife, and many other journals, and will also be included in the 2024 Best Microfiction anthology. A former gardener, Peace Corps volunteer, and college writing instructor, Guy lives on a houseboat in Sausalito California, rides a ’57 Schwinn, and walks the planks daily.