Go Under

Everything wounded comes back to the place where it first broke open. All things come back to where they hit rocks and tore themselves apart, casting splinters into foam, air spilling into space and the ocean bleeding in. If this thing you’ve built was a ship, you’d patch it with tar and limbs. If a breached wall, you could send men in to sandbag it, to fill it with spit and furious words and blood and arms but still they’d keep on coming.

You know that there’s a tide coming in; some heavy thing sung in by the moon or the stars or some other dumb metaphor. You remember that there were times when you were young, when you walked into the water, your arms cast wide, imagining that you could hold back the waves. And that there was a time you gave up trying. The year everything turned to glass in your hands. That summer. In that ocean. When you learned at last that sometimes getting through means getting out of the way. Or holding your breath and going under. Fingers digging in the sand. Lungs full to bursting. The world a roar above.

Now here you are. Holding on. Watching yourself watching everybody else. Watching yourself looking up in fractals. Imagining the strange terrain of memory as though it were anything more than another kind of map. Here a schoolyard split lip. There your first broken heart. Beyond those mountains the place where the dead are buried. There, in the ocean, the objet petit a and you.

And you know you’ll be okay. You know that this is how things go. You know that tonight in the space between the grey you’ll find yourself going back to the water and staring into the black. Standing at the ocean’s edge, calling to the lost and mossy bones of something long ago gone under. Fingers digging in. Lungs full to bursting. The world a roar above.

This is Living

Another micro fiction piece. Really enjoying this genre at the moment.

Per diem #17 this is living

You’re on your way home from a job you’ve convinced yourself is somehow important. To your right the freeway is a blocked artery, fat and bursting. Doing 80 on the busway would be reasonable grounds for a dumb, smug grin but protocol says no grinning on the bus.

Another day done. Ringing phones and dumb questions from people who should know better. Management process. Upward traction. Market environments. A thousand fucking post it notes. All of them necessary.

Then you see the blockage in the artery. A motorcycle and a car have arrived in the same light. The bike now just fractures; strangle unnatural angles around something still. Still like nothing else was ever still.

You see it and you feel glad that you gave up motorcycles.You feel glad that you now ride a bus. You feel glad that when you get home, there’ll be a big screen TV, 3 different places to sit, all of your tax receipts and a fridge big enough to die in, all of them waiting for you.

Later, you’ll walk down the driveway to a house that in 27 years and 3 months you might own. All the lights will be out. Your arms will feel dull and numb. The keys will keep falling out your thick fingers.

Some inside part of you starts to grind, steel on steel, bone on bone.

Something inside you is breaking.