Holy Mother of Mercy, I’ve actually pulled it off.
My fingers trembled as I hovered above the pale man, lying prone and completely still. Alive but not living, frozen in a deep coma. A human shell: the skin and bones, sinew and flesh, of what remained from a horrific motor vehicle accident four years past. But no — no, this was no longer quite the truth. That same human shell had just responded.
I stroll down the promenade and onto the bridge. This one is closed to automobiles.
Between its dead-gray embankments, the river glows noon-gold. I’ve seen the river at its source: young, leaping motion-mad. Here, near its mouth, matured into inertia, the river drifts. Over the river, past me this balmy June Sunday, people jog, stroll, power-walk, and bicycle. Dog-walkers discipline the curiosity out of their dogs with smart little leash tugs. Old couples, combining constitutionals with treat-shopping, have finally found all the time in the world.
I was leaving Japan soon. Something in my bones was telling me it was time. The meals had started to taste sour. The sunrises felt shorter and fainter. My feet longed for familiarity and rest. I had become too acquainted with Tokyo’s intricate streets. Each neighborhood so different from the other that my initial surprise and discovery had now made me overwhelmed with choice. I decided to go south before leaving. My mind was made. I would visit Hiroshima.
All day I’ve struggled not to remember that day, but my cramp has been building, and I sit clutching my belly. I confront my dinner, seeking the culprit: another thing to eliminate.
My coffee’s decaf. (Decaf is safest after heart surgery, so I’m hoping it’ll help prevent heart surgery.) No dairy. (When I was five, I had diarrhea after a pint of ice-cream: I might be lactose-intolerant.) White bread-and-vegan-mayo sandwiches. (Grandma has high cholesterol.)
Nothing left to eliminate: everything that could hurt me is already gone.
My friend, Stacy, once asked why I feared the bad boy—the rebel without a cause who took a drag of a cigarette in the school parking lot. Why I feared the bruises and the burn scars. Why I feared a project. Stacy asked how I could ever fall in love with a beautiful boy if I couldn’t withstand tragedy. My friend wanted a beautiful boy, needed one so much she took AP Psychology just to understand the neurons of his brain. My friend asked when I’d fall for my beautiful […]
He was panting as he walked his bike along the steep path leading to the dilapidated mansion at the top of the hills. The black bike was his father’s, who bought it shortly after Marcus’s birth. Riding with his father was […]