On a solemn Sunday morning we sit facing the terminal, chalk on our tongue and sleep in our eye. Destroyer on the earbuds, shrieking accusation at everyone, abasing himself in self-exaltation, and with no little class.

Our mission today is to mutilate a piece and put it back together. This is the hardest part. We’ve avoided it way too long, and it’s not so much stale but a towering monster, dumb and blind and near to toppling over directly onto our heads.

Died in a dream last night. Woke up in something like death throes. Amazing. Was in a place all peopled with Christians and there was a massacre happening all across the nation where all the Christians were being lined up and executed. A thin man with two-day scruff walked in with a small, silver pistol and asked everyone in this room to line up. We hesitated, and then the others shuffled over to the wall, defeated. I leapt at the man instead, grabbing at the gun. With practiced ease he flipped it up out of his shooting hand, using that arm instead to grasp me in a headlock while his off-hand caught the shining piece. He held me struggling tightly to his chest and gently placed the muzzle against my crown and pulled the trigger.

That’s when I woke up. It happened so fast.

Today’s foggy and sunless, but I’m full of sourdough and raspberry preserves. Ethiopian Harrar races up and down my spinal cord, lending voltage to my voice. Okay. I think I’m ready. Au revoir.


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