Slivers

I submitted a short story to Fringe Magazine; the theme of the upcoming issue is “Remnants.”  I haven’t heard back, which is probably good.  Still, the magazine/website is worth checking out, and maybe you’ll see this in there!

 

Slivers: A Recursive Fragment

“…because a miscarriage can make a woman into a haunted house” was how the note ended, the part I saw, the part that fell from the pocket of the elderly man’s coat as he walked up High Street at four in the morning and I watched as his feet and legs seemed to find purpose as he approached the woman at the corner, the woman who may have been standing there for seconds or days or forever because our memories are only the bits and pieces of what we notice, and I had never noticed her, or that corner before, and even that day she and it  were obscured by the rain on my window as I drove through town on my way to the grocery, to pick up a pregnancy test because my wife needed it RIGHT NOW even though she knew as well as I that I couldn’t very well get up at four in the morning to drive anywhere and be even remotely useful for the rest of the day, certainly not useful in any real sense  to my Physics students, my kids, the kids who were the only children in my life regardless of what my wife’s womb said to her, said to me, said to anyone about the general futility of planting seeds in sand, although we’d tried all the tricks, from legs to the heavens, to the rhythm method, to the odds and ends of medicine and science, only to find that she was as unfinished as the note I stopped for, the note I ran through the rain to get, the note that was typed and printed and bore the tell-tale marks of a stapled page ripped free, leaving only the words given me as well as the page’s opposite side, blacked in completely with ones and zeroes and which I attributed to the letter writer’s frugal mind, whoever moved this man to walk the streets at four in the morning in the rain, and maybe spread the purpose he found in his feet and legs, this old, tattered gentlemen, to switch from a stagger to a trot to a run and stopped him in front of the woman and spread his arms as a mother would a child and bend his head to envelope her in a hug that could only occur after an argument, in the rain, at four in the morning, and which made me re-examine, upon reflection and time, the note I hold in my hand, the part of a note, covered in ones and zeroes that must have been scrap but could be code that which plugged into a computer system may reveal the secret of the universe or the name of god or the secret to time-travel, because fragments can do that, because the “right now” of our lives is the closest we come to infinity and only by recording it can we insure that some part of us will stay forever, whether it’s binary or art or the sweet synthesis of sperm and egg, and even though I tell my wife that we may never know that sweetness, that taste of immortality, we have the each other, right now, and that instant is the closest we’ll ever come to the cosmic, as close as the intertwined strands of our basic selves, the wired netting of our subconscious, or the recursive, infinite capability of the language we use to say things like “I love you,” or “I’m sorry,” or  “If you were the man I always wanted, I wouldn’t expect you to understand how I feel, because I love you ‘in spite of,’ not ‘because of’ and maybe my life, lived with a man I wanted, would be full enough without another, but it’s not, you’re not enough, and right now is when I feel I must say this to you because the slivers, the fragments, the remnants I have left of a life are packed and ready to go, but if we someday see each other in the rain, at four in the morning, please know I will stand at the corner and you will know that it’s me even though we’ll both be old because remnants are the closest thing to time-travel and if you have found this letter you will keep hold of it always and forgive me for what I’m about to do, why I’m about to leave you and maybe you will understand the pain I feel because a miscarriage can make a woman into a haunted house…”

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Fringe

One response to “Slivers

  1. guy

    That is all one sentence. hmmmmmmmmm interesting touch

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