The wind blew so fiercely that it stuck fallen leaves to the face of the window screens as if nature was doing its own form of decopage. Collin nearly fell over himself trying to get to the window and pull it shut before all of the papers he had sitting on Mr. Radcliff’s desk began to dance in the swirling wind. Having accomplished his task, he stared curiously out the window were nature seemed to be waving frantically at him, as if trying to get his attention, inviting him to its song and dance.
He had been blessed with a wild imagination, some in his life thought it was more of a curse the way the thoughts in his head could take shape, becoming the dressing of things that were actually real. The red and yellow leaves in that moment for Collin were the wild wigs of dark skinned women twirling in the chill of the autumn wind. And as he watched, did there curves appear and their chocolate smiles broaden at him. Collin smiled back.
“Collin, Collin the papers!” Mr. Radcliff, his sisters father-in-law gaped at the mess that had become his office. “What have you done in here? Did one of your stories take an unforgivable turn?” He plucked one of the loose pages up from the floor.
Collin turned away from the window to his lady friends’ chagrin, accessing the mess that had become Mr. Radcliff’s office. He hurried and took the page from his hands and made quick work of gathering the others. “The window, I left it open and the wind sang so suddenly,”
“Sang? You said the wind sang?” Mr. Radcliff gave him a curious look.
Recalling the movement of the women-tress outside, the rhythm at which each leaf had plastered its self to the window screen like the perfect punch of a jazz players saxophone, and the rustling of his papers moving to a complimentary tempo of their own, yes, Collin would say the wind had sung, and everything came to life just to dance. He shook his head. “I didn’t mean sang, I meant came. Slip of the tongue. Again, I apologize for the mess, Mr. Radcliff.”
Mr. Radcliff huffed at this and Collin blushed. He had never gotten used to people mocking him, not even as a man of 24 years. He still felt awkward in the face of torment, wanting often to do nothing more than hide his pages away, while he hid along with them. He had actually come to stay the fall months with his sister and her husband’s family for that reason even though he had given another.
Mr. Radcliff stood and placed what papers he had gathered neatly on the desk by the window. “I say Collin, although I am old enough to be your father, I do not like it at all when you call me Mr. Radcliff. Call me Charles for heaven’s sake.” His look was very reproving. “I like it even less when a man of your wit tries to hide his fire.” His eye narrowed.
Collin stood and swallowed down a dry lump in his throat. He nearly choked on it when Mr. Radclilff-Charles, clapped him on the back.
“And for the love of all that is good, keep the wind singing, man. Life is dull any other way.”