Tag Archives: Ross Dohrmann

The Origins of Petrichor: A Modern Tragedy by Ross Dohrmann

RossYou examine a painting, a scene frozen at the moment when the mood shifted from chaotic to calm.

I am the painter and you one of two subjects, observing the scene as if watching a Greek tragedy. You recall that before the scene, you felt light and you heard my words, but they were empty in your ears. You did not feel my anger, but you saw it burst from the knots tied in the pit of my stomach like fireworks. There was nothing I could do to censor or control my actions, and so for a brief moment you left your body and let mine purge.

My eyes were red, moist, and hot, like freshly rinsed chili peppers. My posture was slumped, and my hands rested on my knees as I stooped to your eye level; you were sitting in the kitchen chair with your arms and legs crossed. The lights in the room were off and the overcast sky absconded the setting sun.

You looked at me with acquiescence. As I purged the negativity from the depths of my darkest caves, you began to realize that you were wrong. No, not that you were wrong, but that you were mistaken. You watched from your invisible pedestal and you closed your eyes, taking a deep lungful of all the air my body is releasing. It was hot air, unfriendly, unwavering, unbelievable –– but it was pure. You could not hear a word I was saying, but you saw my face contort. The muscles around my eyes and in my cheeks slacken, like soldiers after war. My face became a tragic mask, the emblem of pity and fear. Catharsis began to surface from beneath my anger; the purge was near completion.

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Bones by Ross Dohrmann

RossI’ll never forget those final days of Summer before He left and everything changed. He was always there, always, right after school He’d come home. During the summer, which He said is when the “dog days” are, it was even better because He didn’t go to school, so He could play and ruffle my neck like He always did. The last few days He was with me a lot, and laughing, and playing, and so much walking. Then one day He was sad and the next day He was gone.

They think we can’t keep track of time, but we can, we do. He left one year, and five months, and thirteen days ago. I knew He was going to go though. He’s left before, but I didn’t know it would be for one year, and five months, and thirteen days. I know when He’s going for a short time and when He’s going for a long time. When He goes for a short time He ruffles my neck and smiles, and points, and says to me, “Now, Bucko, you watch the house and take care of Mom.” Then I put my paw in his paw and He sits up straight, and then I sit up straight because He laughs and looks at me when I sit up straight, but I usually look at something else instead of Him. He didn’t do that one year, and five months, and thirteen days ago.

The third day before He left, I thought He was going to go for a short time because He started to put his things in bags, and He does that when He goes for a short time. I liked that day because He took me to the lake, and I like going to the lake because that’s where I swim. He put his things in bags for a while, and I sat close by and watched just in case He needed my help. After fifteen minutes there were too many bags, so I closed my eyes but didn’t sleep. He called my name and He had his ball glove. He looked at it, then at me, and put it in a bag, which made me happy because He likes playing ball and I like playing ball too.

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