fever to the form

Short Stories / Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Feverishly he walks along the edges of his mind, searching for the words that will make her stay, he knocks at the walls of her mind to find what is hidden behind it, the real reason why she’d said what she just said but he finds himself strangely unable to form any coherent thought. His mind is a blank.

She stands up from the bench abruptly. Brown leaves crunch under her boots.

“I’m so very sorry,” she whispers and he watches her back as she walks away from him, this bench, this life.

“Me too,” he says. He doesn’t know when she strayed so far from his mind and towards someone else’s and he doesn’t know how he didn’t realize. Didn’t he pride himself on knowing her best? Then how could this explode like a bomb in his face and tear at his whole being like it did, now?

Maybe he really didn’t deserve any better if he let her go this far without knowing.


Her back is now just a small part of a body further down the road, he’s almost unable to make it out from the rest of the world around her. He’ll never see her spine again, the way her smooth skin bulks over the bone that holds her upper body together. He thinks how strange it is that he will always be left wondering what part of all the things she said was true and what wasn’t. It could all have been a lie, one nasty sordid way of destroying him slowly. “Hey honey”, “I’ve never told this story before”, “I like your mom”, “that was cute”, “you are the best cook I’ve ever known”. What are the odds? 3/5? 5/5 lies? His eyes follow the flight of a robin above him, between the branches of the trees. Central Park is a pretty sight in autumn. He suddenly yearns to be home. Home, home, not in his apartment on the corner of 112th, but on his parent’s little farm in Michigan. It’s such a vast and consuming feeling of utter home-sickness that he almost winces. He longs for his mother’s soft touch on his hair, his father’s hands stained with soil from gardening. But this is the life he chose for himself, the decisions he made and judged to be best. Moving into the big city. What a joke. He almost feels like laughing about his life, were it not his to live.

What a wretched world, what a sad scene, this lonesome boy on a park bench, disappointed by a girl and immediately feeling worthless for it. He thinks how pathetic it is to tie all one’s good things; the self-worth, the good memories, the ability to know someone, to another person. How stupid to give someone that kind of power over himself. But then again, that’s how human-beings have always been, the red yarn that runs through the evolution of mankind; the love and the hurt, the elation and the downfall, the risk and the time spent making it all worth it. And how they do it all over and over again after having recovered from the shock of the fall.

This and many darker and some lighter thoughts occupy his mind, sitting on that bench and thinking about life and what he has done so far to deserve it. Where he grieved and where he took grief upon his own shoulders. He can’t remember a time without having loved someone. You’re born and you love your parents and your siblings and your grand-parents and you grow up and learn to love people not bound to you by blood but by soul, siblings of the heart, friends and lovers and you learn to turn their love into more, like a perpetuum mobile. And then you lose some and you gain some.

And he guesses that that’s how life will always be.

And he follows the flight of the robin and he sees life for what it is; one endless, continuing nothing of beautiful and ugly things holding each other’s balance, if you’re lucky.

(I wrote this while listening to fever to the form by nick mulvey on repeat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz8OgFZiwtM)

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