Tuesday, December 14, 2010

After the Doctor Called

When I found out, I was living in the city. After the phone call, I took a walk, hopped on a bus. I wanted to tell everyone I saw, so I surrounded myself with strangers in order to keep it to myself.

They wanted me to come in right away, to stick me in bed and line me up. I felt sure if I went to the hospital, it would stop being mine and become theirs. I imagined doctors standing on chairs above me from a great height, counting down the battle in my body like a wrestling match, me at the disadvantage weight wise, and death as a huge Russian bully in a one piece, his muscles settling on top of me, a load of unmovable foreign mass. Right now I longed for weightlessness.

I walked to the sea. The sea was also imprisoned here, hemmed in by old stone, old wood, new brick on the coast of an old place. So I talked up a merchant marine I knew briefly and barely, drank a beer with him and told him, only him so that today he would love me, which he did. Away on a stolen boat we went, he was always up for larceny, especially if it involved fate.

I sat at the bow of the boat, watching the water get deeper and deeper, but always gray. The skies started to darken, but the water retained the weak sun, the gray becoming lighter and lighter in contrast to the dusky clouds gathering. I saw shapes wriggling in the wake, bodies and ships and pets and music sung to me once. It was all very moving.

When we reached the deepest part, where the countries collided, I made him stop. I kissed his cheek, and armed with an open bottle of wine (he opened the cork with his knife, since I had forgotten the corkscrew), I set myself adrift in the tiniest of dinghies. He didn’t want to leave me, but he didn’t know me well enough to stay, which was the point. As the lights of his boat receded, and I was left alone in the glowing gloom, I thought of the heft of your arms, the way I used them for ballast. I was sorry it hadn’t been you, but I didn’t think you would have left. Maybe you would have understood, but in the very end the only thing I cared about was the agelessness of the water, the molecules of glacier splashing around me, and how tiny my own span was next to it, even if I had lived to a hundred.


Who wants to fuck the Editors?