« back to article: FICTION: Opening the Dam

Page 5

I’ll probably write her a letter in a year or so that says something like, “I miss your laugh. Stop laughing without me,” or, “Sometimes I don’t know how I do life when you’re not around.” I’ll follow that with the things that do make me laugh or how I am actually doing life without her. I’ll mean it, but it will be paper. And I might not send it. I might put it between book pages with that poem I never gave her. They’re silly if they think being earth-bound is exhilarating.     

 


    I was riding a bus in a foreign city before this was a crisis, sitting across from a deaf couple. The woman kept pointing at me while she was signing. I assumed she was saying something about foreigners or the way young people are dressing these days. I realize now that she was just talking about the future. Pointing in front of her meant she was telling him about tomorrow. What a nice place to be sitting—in someone’s future tense.   

 


    I rip the label off the last bock and think tomorrow I’ll say what I mean. She stands up and stretches. Her body casts a magnificent shadow over a patch of perfectly layered roof shingles. It reminds me of a cloud poised over planned agriculture—the way you see those fields that are cut and measured from a plane. The canals are dry now. I uncross my legs and find the right one sleeping. I should have known better than to sit like that for so long. It’ll be a while before I can move again.