there is nothing but a hole (and other thoughts)

a listicle in response to the question of “what is the first thing that you think of when I ask you to remember a meaningful event”


Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay.

  1. nothing – there is nothing there is nothing there is nothing. There should be something. Anything. The tumors in my grandmother’s brain the size of grapes. They moan like animals before they die. The morphine only works when they sleep. The needle goes in so smoothly. Paper against glass. The thin sting. The opened eye. The howls turn into high whines. Almost silent. Almost sound like stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.
  2. shaking – the pants leg does not make the ants come out. You are supposed to move when you step in an ant hill. You stare at the soda as you spill it. You look at them laughing. This does not sound funny to you. The pockets clink with change. Shaking your whole pants leg. You stare at your big toe. It bleeds in the crease. In the place it curls. It stings. 
  3. the shock – it comes fast. It hits the stomach first. And then the limbs. And then only the face as a parting gift. The stopping is a meaningful event. Like watching the man on the motorcycle slam into the mid-sized sedan and scrape against the road. It is not like a hockey-puck and it is not like scraping your knee on the blacktop. It is like cigarette burns. Such a perfect little hole so quickly. It melts like the snow melted the one time it snowed.
  4. coating – all of it coats thick the back of the throat. The back of everything. The back of nothing. Life – a slick tunnel where things should be. A burnt hole through paper, through flesh. A bright blue screen. A tunnel in pixels. A story in bytes. The video makes it more real. The song makes it shimmer.