A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




There’s part of a dead cat rotting in the corner. Nobody wants to talk about it. An off-brand noir loops its whodunnits weakly on a modest LCD TV. Everybody stares and stays the same. The natural cycle of entropic tropes thins the plot. The air is derelict and the grounds are green but wasted by weedy creepers. There’s no wildlife bar the tomcat, an alley male bastard that flickers at the edges, Schrödinger’s yin to the rancid yang growing rigid in obscurity. Nothing always changes predictably. Something is born, something is dead, between them is everything’s eventual horizon.


If I were a camera man her look would have said stop filming. As it was, I shrugged and put down my notebook, sticking my pen behind my ear. I don’t think she gets that there is no off switch for what I do, only different ways of remembering. Still, her guard lowered along with my pad, earning me some small trust that I would spend later. She relaxed into her chair and practiced smiling at me. Between grin and grimace she told me, ‘It’s not easy being somebody.’ And I wondered how hard it would be being nobody.

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