: Flexicore vs. Durastone :

an excerpt by Mike Carlson


I had no idea. When I was young,

Craig MacMillan and I would ride to Pizza Hut in the back

of my father's station wagon while our parents sat up front discussing

the relative merits of old money and the nouveaux reesh.

Craig was four years older than me

and could recite the lyrics of songs I'd never heard and apply

them to the landscape in a way that made me admire

his axiomatic tone. Along the way, we'd pass

an isolated factory, sitting like an enormous upturned brick

just off the highway, windowless, the strange word

Durastone across the top of one side,

Flexicore across the other.

Craig would argue Durastone was strongest of the two,

and pound a fist into his hand and clench his teeth

to make his point. I had no idea

what I was saying, but I tried to make the case that Flexicore

was like a sapling bending in a storm while

branches of the larger Durastone-like trees

blew past, destroyed because they couldn't yield.

I tried to match my father's tone when he expressed

disdain for the nouveaux riches who he firmly believed

were clearly not as savvy as old money. None of us

had any idea what we were talking about or why, but the sound

of our voices was the strength that we had in landscape

where Durastone and Flexicore were one, and the rich

were one, and the only power that we had came

from disagreeing with each other.