Limits of the Flesh
On fine afternoons, where the sun slips just right through the trees, I imagine being smashed beneath some dense, massive object. It’s happened, you know. Not to me yet, but to others: in a warehouse where the lift fork slipped, a dockyard where the pulley gave. I make fourteen dollars an hour saying, “What brings you in today?” One time I stole Fritos off the rack, snuck into the bathroom, and devoured the whole bag. I’d be promptly fired, should corporate randomly check footage of the thirtieth of August, four-sixteen P.M. The earth not only spins, you know, but rotates on a moving axis. The seasons: Winter. Spring. Summer. Early fall I see it best, at gradients of shifting time (before the daylight savings change in November). These are the fine days in a life, the wilting leaves and sweet cut of decay. If it happens to be sunny I might catch it happening. Oh, please let it be sunny. The way to eat a bag of Fritos in the time it takes to otherwise relieve yourself is to just go for it without remorse, tear open the bag and dump them straight into your mouth the way you pour a liquid. Can you believe a cargo crate once fell upon a man? What even happens to the body then? What is to become of us? Sometimes I wake up in the night and think about the footage of my theft. It’s there: August thirtieth, 2019, four-sixteen in the afternoon. Go on and check it. Fourteen dollars an hour. Tell me what happens then.
Damien is an MFA candidate in Fiction at The New School. His work has appeared in such outlets as The Denver Post, Gravel Magazine, and Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. Additionally, his play, ‘Toady Hoad’, was a finalist for Best Play in The Strawberry One-Act Festival in New York City last winter. He lives in New York City with his wife and two pets.
Cover Photo by tim putala (Flickr)