Lindy and the High Water Mark

Amanda Yskamp

Bone lived in a trailer behind June and Whitney’s place, had since forever, kept company by his beloved brindle pit-mix Daisy. He took to the neighborhood, and they to him, and by now they were all like family, synched to the ten-year flood pattern.

He got by on weed: sales and leisure.

He was in love with The Singer, name of Lindy, she of the alto-to-baritone range of human tones, sometimes rising to rigoletto or dropping to an upright bass’s loosest lushness.

Bone sat in the back of every local venue where Lindy and the High Water Mark played.

Tonight was no different, except tonight he sat there knowing he would finally make his declaration:

Nobody hears you, Lindy, the way I do. That is why, lovely lady, that is why I incline to your voice and await your word.

How’s that? Short, simple, sweet, true. Bone had sat June and Whitney down after he’d split and stacked two cords of firewood on their porch to sound them out on his words’ propriety and poetry, two so often opposing poles. Daisy loved how his voice rumbled through the floorboards to find her, wherever she lay. She showed her approval by wagging her limber tail hard, thump-thump-thump against the wood. June and Whitney agreed, it would be hard to resist such open ardor.

Bone did not want to be a cliché, though he’d risk it to woo such a metaphor to bed, bath, and beyond.

Daisy was at his feet that whole night. She was good with crowds, a sweetheart, if things didn’t get too rowdy, and Lindy’s High Water Mark was hardly that.

After the first set, Bone cut out to the smoking shed that ran alongside the bar. Lindy would be out there puffing Marlboros. He’d quit years ago, apart from the eponymous bone, but he’d wade through clouds of smoke for her: he’d brave anything.

“I was so off! Lindy said, ducking through the curtain, lighting up.

Bone thought, even off, she was onner than any woman he’d ever known.

Firm-fleshed still past 40, Lindy clicked eyes with him, then unclicked, taking in her surrounds: smoking shed, sparkly lights, woodstove smithed with love and cast-iron spirals.

“Yeah, you sucked!” Bone called over everyone’s heads.

In his experience, you could hook a girl on insult.

“Shut up, Bone! What the hell do you know about quality? You only ever get half my register, anyway, lurking behind some weight-bearing wall!”

She sliced out everyone to glare at him.

Could have said it then.

Should have said it then.

Bone would have said what he’d come all ready to say, if Daisy hadn’t sprung up and bit through Lindy’s lip and jaw in one guttural lunge: the long lag before Lindy’s crowd-shredding scream called for all the others to rush out to the shed to see what the actual fuck.

With blood on her mouth, Daisy was hauled off by the collar, the true and jealous heroine of this tale.

Sick of staying by her master’s boot, sick to distraction of that ear-piercing caterwauling, Daisy would do anything to foil what would certainly end with Bone dredged in human misery. Again.

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk on /  CC BY-NC