Eddie hung a right onto Linden Court, a short dead end, and pulled over to the curb beside some blue recycle bins. He eased the Civic into Park, and the doors locked with a clunk. He checked the rearview mirror. His daughter’s girl, Mia, just 10 months, was still conked out in the car seat. Her head and right shoulder sagged against the seatbelt, as if she were an astronaut buckled into a capsule. The fuzzy straps of her gray knit cap dangled beside her ears, framing her look of serious concentration.
It’s been a week since the chasm opened, and I’m getting sick of scraping moss off my shampoo bottles.
The crater is as big as my cat Meatball, and smells like sulfur and honey and the perfume my Aunt Janet stopped wearing when Grandma told her she smelled like a floozy. Meatball bats a jingly toy mouse into the chasm, and the pit widens further with a burst of fresh yellow spores that cling to my armchair like fleas. It’ll be gone by nightfall. The spores eat, the moss spreads, and the vines steal.
In between wracking coughs and long, thirsty swigs of Jim Beam, Bessie takes a good hard look at Burt’s face. “That storm. It’s brewing again. In your eyes,” she says, craning her neck to study his mixture of dark blue twisted with gray and green; changeable eyes that reflect his mood. Somber, with a pinch of angry.
“You can’t hide it from me.”
Hassan sat on the bench and looked out over the water. He wondered what it would be like to be lost at sea. The view of the water was obscured by all of the boats, but he focused on the one clear patch that stretched out to the horizon and imagined being adrift. A single human soul in an ocean entire lifetimes have been spent upon without seeing all there is to see. He was filled with the low grade, buzzing sensation of nascent awe. With something so immense, words don’t sound big enough, so he made due with emphasis. The ocean was just so big and constantly moving.
All of the boats bobbed in the endless ebb and flow of the waves. Some sat low in the water, barely registering the lift and release of the tide. Others seemed to rest on the top of the water like a leaf, obeying every twist and pull, every rise and fall, every whim of the water that had existed billions of years before the boat and will be here billions of years after. And always moving! Always in motion! Always in–
Annette was dreaming. She was dreaming of roaring waterfalls, a green landscape, and streams of sunlight warming her skin. Clad only in a simple sundress, Annette tread carefully over mossy ground and protruding roots. She shivered, reaching out for the large dog by her side. He gave her a gentle nudge and Annette continued her journey through the vast forest.
She stopped at the brink, balancing on the rocky edge as the water flowed rapidly before her. The sound of the waterfall was thundering, obscuring all other sounds and leaving her in trepidation. Annette could almost feel the cool breeze, but she knew it was all in her head.
Everyone has a limit. I hit mine on a picture-perfect Saturday in late April. I had resigned myself to being alone. Unlike my mother’s generation, I didn’t need a partner. I didn’t need a marriage contract. I did fine on my own. Or so I thought.
The loneliness set in after I started perusing the online dating sites. It was as if knowing what my prospects were made it worse. My profile was overflowing with potential mates that had perfected the bathroom selfie. The few times I accepted a match I quickly realized the dating software had failed me. I had no gracious way out. My “thanks but no thanks” message was most often greeted with, “Whatever. You’re an ugly bitch anyway.”
In the mellow library nothing gets excited. Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 from Engineering become bored and decide to visit Poetry. But they can’t find it! Poetry, fed up with the flatline energy of this library, has climbed out a window. Which they first had to break as it wouldn’t open.
So Poetry is on the roof of the hospital next door. The various poets, released from the gelid aspic of the Mellow Library, have commenced to argue about – oh, about anything: what is the sky really telling us? Is there hope for breakfast? Has T. S. Eliot finally died?
This product offered guaranteed happiness and a solution to all of my problems, which I now suspect is nothing more than a marketing ploy. In large quantities it frequently had the opposite effect, and I’d recommend medium serving sizes.
I also struggled with the order process – it seemed to all revolve around stock – and when adding the item to my basket I had a strange desire to post irritating motivational quotes on Instagram.
Today Sib told us that London has been named the Greatest City in the World and then we all laughed.
On the way home from the office my phone broke and I held back tears on the Northern line. Just this morning I told El I didn’t think it was normal how tired I was all the time and then I googled is it normal to feel exhausted all the time in January. Thomas and I went to sleep at half past nine all week and we didn’t even have sex.