Among the living, I would be pelagic, a petrel teetering on fixed wings above a fleet of sailfish. Among the petrels, I would be a fulmar, & ward off threats to my one-egg hoard with deadly projectile vomit. I am held here by a morass of trivial recollections, like Rachel pinned to her camel-hump stool by the guilty pile of gods hidden beneath it. I remember a line in a novel I read decades ago that sparked an enduring self-consciousness about the crescents of dirt under my fingernails. I remember as a kid discovering a lone raspberry cane out in the field that was dotted with dried & shrunken fruit — that feeling of sadness at a minor treasure even the sparrows overlooked. I remember hearing a Chopin piano sonata once when I was so sleep-deprived that the mere effort of listening made my chest ache. The black and the white keys were equally painful. I’ve forgotten most insults & humiliations except for those I perpetrated, which fill me with a baleful light, like an all-night laundromat. I remember, because it’s still embarassing, how old I was when I finally realized that heat lightning was nothing but ordinary lightning, too far to hear & hidden by the curve of the earth.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).