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Story by Gary Cadwallader (Read author interview) August 15, 2004

Pause it right… there.

About my gloves… I have many styles. They are made of: cow, pig, water buffalo, llama… perhaps emu. Their skins were roughed into suede, smoothed into dress gloves. They were sewn, punctured, threaded. The gloves have man made fibers added to the fingertips, the cuffs, across the palm. The insides are filled, or not, depending on the season. The hides are sometimes dull, sometimes glossy.

All the gloves are small. I am a small man. I choose tiny women, no bigger than jockeys. To them I am a giant. I buy those women gloves in the children’s department. For elegant occasions when only arm length white will do, I search Ebay for “pageant gloves, xsmall.”

Fast forward past the women.

I am tearing boards and chicken wire out of an old barn. I separate wood from wire into piles outside the door. The barn is fifty, seventy-five, a hundred years old? Someone insane has jacked it up and poured a concrete foundation so that it won’t blow away. Someone misguided has added lightning rods across the top. The barn was apparently owned by major stockholders in twine and wasps.

Rewind to where I buy farm gauntlets.

Warrensburg Farm-and-Home. I try on cowboy hats but none fit. I look at a small windmill. I’d like a windmill, but I want one of those Euro-glitz jobbies that look like Ginzu knives on stilts.

I saunter past wire cutters. For twenty dollars I can buy a pair that will do the job. For twenty-five dollars I can go bigger. For thirty dollars I can get a pair with three-foot handles and the leverage to cut gaucho wire.

I need leverage.

It turns out, the bigger wire cutters wear one down as the sun sets over Whiteman Air Force Base. It becomes a task to lift them one more time and one more time and one more time.

Skip ahead to the B2 Bomber.

I toss the gauntlets onto the ground. I run my hands through my hair and look up to see a great black kite. The kite tilts and tantalizes me. Only after it passes do I hear a small roar, like a lawn mower.

The B2 is flown by a young man who could destroy my barn with a joystick, but he won’t. They’d count his weapons on landing. Besides, like my son who blows up land mines, he took an oath to protect me and all predators like me.

He’s wearing gloves – man made, I’m sure. Oil based. Khaki, or brown. He flies low over my fields, which produce no food or by-products. He may see the horse trailer pulling in and if he has any sense, he’ll know I’ve gone into the entertainment business as all Americans must someday.

Fast forward into the future.

Wind, electricity, armor, and smiles. That’s all we have left. Frankly, that’s all we need. Those are the new elements of the universe.

About the Author

Pushcart nominee Gary Cadwallader lives on a small farm in Warrensburg, Missouri where he likes to write about relationships between men and women.

About the Artist

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison’s work here.

This story appeared in Issue Five of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Five

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