Death on a Sunday Morning
The tiger flat on the wall shakes his fur dry.
Static resolves the words, “White Male. Age Twenty. Found dead at approximately one fifteen A.M. Suspected overdose.”
Very different from this angle. It takes you an eternal second to see that it is in fact you, and the only way you come to this conclusion is the recognition of a pair of grey shoes and the same outfit you were wearing the day before. The green windbreaker and khaki chinos. The striped socks. You still can’t see your face, just the back of your head. But in that second, that body in front of you goes from plainly unrecognized to the most intimate. Somehow, it is still a stranger.
You want to push or kick or talk, but someone tells you we are only supposed to observe. The neon jacket and reflective bands bend down and place a hand on your body’s back and you open your eyes. Laugh and cry at the same time.
Conveniently, you are not actually dead. You are given a second chance to change your prescription from white male to a proper name.
Gone is your high. Gone is the dancing carpet. In front of you is only what could be and the impossibility of what is.
No longer can you walk to your ten A.M class and not wonder how the fuck all these buildings got here. No longer can you look at a tree and think of it as nature and not how things are supposed to be.
Can’t walk into cities anymore. Can’t help but compare New York to a father’s tumor.
Can’t listen to her tell you about how absolutely cruel her day was without almost letting escape
“Yes, but what if a tiger was at your throat?”
Perspective begins to move dangerously quick.
Stagnate in absolute fascination with your ancestors. You marvel at the invention of the boat.
You can not for the life of you understand how spaceships work, and you think perhaps we jumped the gun on that frontier.
Start to sympathize with creationism, but only as being birthed from a fundamental lack of context.
Begin to see every child as the same, which soon becomes every human. Outcries and tantrums manifest differently. A red Miata is not so different from a cry born out of a denied sweet.
Try to catch the eyes of every person who walks by and, rarely, you do.
Forget why you know these things for a year until your friend is denied her convenient second chance.
About the Author: Clovis Jaillet is a recent graduate of Skidmore College, where he studied Creative Writing and Philosophy. His work has also been featured in Drunk Monkeys.