Monday, September 1, 2008

kenneth, what is the frequency?

isn’t your girlfriend getting married today?
yes she is
aren’t you going to go?
i’ve already gone.
she’s married already?
did she run off?
no. the ceremony’s at six.
samjay knew april had no future. her father was a cast iron and her mother was a foot. april was pure twine and her fiancé was named buster. when samjay brought april home for the first time, his parents took turns trying to lace themselves with her. april’s mother could fit perfectly into each of samjay’s parents. samjay’s parents were both right soled shoes. susan’s father stayed home in the fire. there was no water in auckland.

how can you have already been there if it hasn’t happened yet?
happening is not a place.
to my right time jumps an hour at a time. to my left it drops an hour. the distances per hour are not equidistant. for instance, april’s house is always an hour behind samjay’s house. the wedding is always ahead one hour of whatever time it is at any given moment in this story.

samjay’s parents owned a dry cleaning business, for which samjay was a proud product. susan worked there. she looked down from the pole and told samjay,
remember daylight savings tonight.
tonight? fall back?
yep. one hour.
it’s the first year of that bill that passed.
it’s tonight, not last night?
i don’t know.
oh god.

samjay’s parents could catch glimpses of each other between the footsteps of their walkers. but the sound of so many other shoes and pitiful shoeless feet, making contact with the ground, then lifting again, made it impossible for them to communicate. finally, after a solid city block, they caught up together and spoke, though they were visually obstructed by Mr. Johnson’s left shoe. it sounded like the electronic drumbeat of the street signal for the blind or leather stretching, or even the sound of your own footsteps after you’ve stopped walking; not because some metaphysical self continues after you stop, but because your mind expects something even after your body stops and assumes the continuation for you. Mr. and Mr. Johnson stepped into crossing traffic and were killed. all plans were cancelled and samjay’s bloodstained parents are for sale in a thriftstore.

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