Sunday, December 27, 2015
The Man Who Fell (from Upon Waking)
There was a mattress in the air, navigated by cables and the people atop it were drinking, having a party, looking down and pointing. A strong wind blew and a man toppled down, or did he dive? There was water all around, azure blue stretched wide in rivers' mouths between peninsulas; he missed, hit his head square on the asphalt, and bounced. We swerved around him, aghast. We stopped, turned around, went for him. Time passed, or better, shifted from one frame to another, and I was inside an ambulance now, looking for bandages. The man should have been dead upon impact. The man should have been dead, but he was sitting up with a line of blood down his temple. Another frame shifted: in it my daughter dove into a tidal pool, but she didn't know how to swim. I dove in after her, thinking, what an adventurous spirit! There were barnacled rocks, seaweed softly moving in the tide, friends and strangers perched on the surrounding jetties. Afterwards, we went into a summer cottage with full view of the inlets, the mouths of the bay, the blue, blue, and I was still thinking how he should have been dead, but something in me chose otherwise and death would be postponed.