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"What to Whom," short story excerpt

Monday 1/24/22

Say what to whom. Say why for what. Meet a woman at a fork in the road and make a joke about spoons in the air. Hanging upside down. Hollowed out suns of silver. She says I'm your future. And you laugh. The trying laugh. When you say okay I will laugh. The punctuative laugh. The rhetorical laugh. The laugh of the scared. The laugh of the knowing. Quirky how one thing can be so many others at once. The laugh of the bully. The laugh of banter. Back and forth and social cues. Expectations served and met. The time you rode not in a coach but on top. Your butterfly body incapable of flight but sometimes commanding certain views. How's the ride down there? Question not asked. Feeling every bump in the road. Don't they pave these things? You really notice it from up on high. I thought you were my past you say to the woman given how familiar she is with you. And you get angry. Confusion will do it. Because you're right there. And isn't right there the present? So why is she saying she's your future and why are you thinking she's your past? And why did you want to fly when you knew you couldn't and you had the commanding view? Write a letter to the city. Its representatives. Not the city itself sitting at a desk. But then again maybe the city at a desk. A long desk of flowing, waveless wood. Brown sea becalmed. Ruffled only with papers. Sign reading the buck stops nearabout. Proximate. Close enough. Another damn letter about the jostling roads, the city thinks. Crumples it up with its mouth because its hands are busy juggling. Knives and lives, lives and knives, lives on the edges of knives. Gotta do the dance. Feel the rhythm. And up the city stands, and now it is doing a jig around the office. Can't stop. I'm not here to stop, it says, as the beat builds. Self-generated beat of one's own feet. Shooshk and ta-da. Shuffle rhythm shuffle. Rhythm rhythm shuffle. There's no reply. A lot of the notes just get swallowed. The paper dissolves. The backs of mere sheets of broken whiteness. Did you know that everything has a back? It's a scientific fact. Germs have backs and fronts. So do lies. Hopes. Words. If we were more evolved we could actually look at the backs of pages of words and see that they had all different kinds of meanings from that side. That's where many of the answers as such are. Sometimes they bubble to the top meaning the front. But that's almost an accident. It's like when you have a battery and it breaks down and the inside comes out. That sandy corrosiveness. But nothing can function without a back. Of all the things that everything could possess, I wouldn't have thought it'd be that.