written by James Wilding Wood | illustrated by Christopher Park
The accumulated weight of days. That’s what I told her. When she asked why I was still in bed. What the fuck does that mean. What it means. She said she was done. Well, so am I. Like a steak at Denny’s: barely edible and covered with sadness and salt.
At some point the door opens, and as I move my head to look at the wall, I hear the key turning in the lock. The letter box whines. The key falls.
Would it make a difference if I liked beetroot. I could be in a hot tub somewhere in LA, eating beetroot. Maybe I do like beetroot and just hate like. I see it all on the wall, until it melts, colors folding together, deep into its hula dance. I should blink. The wall takes a bow and sinks toward the floor. As it sags, it reveals a rich blunt trauma of a well-known writer of mysteries who looks at me with so much guilt. He closes his screen, mumbles an apology, and then hurls himself through the laundry room window.
My neck is sore, so I shift to stare at the ceiling. From the northeast corner to the south southeast runs a crack. Fuck that crack. I said that to the crack. Every day I had taken a picture of it, looking for changes, development, progress. Nothing. Just the staleness of its existence, mixed with the eons of time that allowed for it to be there. My grandfather died for that crack’s right to be a crack and to do nothing except be there when my neck hurt too much from looking at the wall.
I remember something. We are but a thin sliver of light between two eternities of blackness. Perhaps a spark that occurs in an otherwise well-oiled machine. Maybe the mystery writer accidentally wrote a flickering sentence that illuminated the jagged rocks, a shiny nugget of prose reflecting the error of his being, and didn’t want to get anyone in trouble. A spark of rare principle. The brief illumination of the unknowable is not something that generally amounts to a million ebook sales. I wonder what he was writing, just before he jumped over the dryer. What would have been the ending. Maybe the butler did it.
And where do all the words go when we die — all the potentially glorious patterns of vocabulary that may occur to only one human at one specific point in the collapsing fat time-space pancake. Are they said by another in some folded-up pretzel dimension.
I am hungry. The curtains are flapping now that the window has become shards. Bastard has left his candy wrappers all over the place, and they are dancing. I am going to have to get up.
About the artists:
Christopher Park is a multi-media, interactive illustrator living in Los Angeles. While classically trained in traditional illustration, his combined knowledge of art and front-end code have breathed life and movement into his work and allowed it to become unique, interactive and dynamic.
James Wilding Wood is a short fiction author and sports journalist. His work can be found in numerous soccer magazines, and a surprising number of boxes marked ‘Misc.’ When not writing apocalyptic poems he is often found on soccer fields across Florida shouting ‘geggenpressen’ at confused kids.