Today’s possibility: 56.7%.
Every month or so there comes a new Moses, babies left bullrushed on the river, sometimes there are notes though more often there aren’t, fourteen so far, What to do with the Moseses? the newspaper asks regularly, and for now the answer is the same as for any other question. With the right scar on your eyebrow you can join the coalition of young men who take to the riverbanks, painted aboriginal, daily knifing through underbrush; with the right recommendation you may secure a job underground, two hours of each of your days spent waiting, you will call yourself a Caser, as in a Just In _____, as in: fans meet feces and you’ll have to become part of The Answer.
1:52pm makes him terribly anxious, for reasons unknown: not 1:50, not even 1:55, just 1:52, and when the boy packs his bag he’s everyday packing for oblivion or two quiet hours, eternity or an afternoon. A book, sheets of paper, pens, a picture of his family, strawberries wrapped in a damp tea towel, a spent plastic film shell of chlorine tablets. He loads his satchel, glancing around his room, and somehow the familiar cry of wolf is still lost on him: look anywhere and say goodbye and pretend that’s not your reedy voice, windy and breezing. Pretend you’re sure this isn’t the wolf.
Goodbye mom. Goodbye Bill the bird. Goodbye green sofa and you too Daphne Waphne. Goodbye picture of dad waving, just next to the door in the kitchen: he leaves from his job downtown. Children under twelve are allowed to travel with their parents, over twelve have to go alone, and the boy is fifteen. Daphne Waphne, eight, waves, stops waving, waves smaller. Ha ha ha, wait…maybe only two ha’s, maybe just one. He kisses his mom’s cheek and walks out the door, following the same route to the edge of the city each day. Once there his chemistry forces him to consider cardinal points, but it’s always simple: south. Down the only direction left. The city is built around where a big river crescents east for a mile and a smaller river branches off. For $3, anyone can call a number that reports the most unsafe places.
The boy walks south, through four minutes of bells tolling and cars honking, and when he looks at the sun he’s not scared anymore: when he was younger his mom told him that he’d burn out his eyes, go blind, go mad, staring at the sun, and now as he walks south he thinks: maybe it’ll be today, thinks: I don’t know what to see anyway. At 2:05pm silence settles like a dare, no one speaks at 2:05, and along the river the giant clock blinks digitally, different colors depending on factors no one’s sure of despite the clock being tax funded. 2 blink 05, 2 blink 05, sixty blinks and another minute passes during which It hasn’t Happened.
Today’s possibility: (more…)
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