At 99 years old, Poppa is more scowl than man. Death it seems has forgotten about him, letting him linger and decay far past what can be natural. His life, far past being led, is endured and he swears to … Read More
The twenty-one hours to himself during the day aren’t so bad, but the three hours at night are paralyzing. He always tells himself, in the midst of particularly productive days, that he’ll be able to finally start doing things during the night, but when the time comes he’s scared of going out.
Before the war, I often perched on the fence of the cow pasture to watch the trains go by. That was well before I was unable to stand the sound of trains. I had nothing else to do besides throwing rocks in the muddled Risle and memorizing geometry and morality lessons until everything mingled irremediably in my head. My only friend was Adam, though sometimes his cousin Anne, who was a year younger than we were—but just as sharp if not more—would tag along with us when we went down by the outskirts of town to smoke cigarettes and kick a ball back and forth.
If you ask me about the next day, though, and I mean the day he killed himself, I won’t be able to tell you anything. I don’t remember. But if you ask me about the day before, I can tell you how Carrie looked in the muggy evening light, how the tips of his hair curled with sweat, how a cluster of pimples settled above his left eyebrow like a constellation.