SNAP: Stories for Living

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2007 STORY #19: MUD

If I could reach out and touch him, I wouldn’t. I would run away. The distances from David, the safeness in my upstairs room, this is what allows me to open up. I take from him his body, his smiles and frowns and fingers and feet and his belly and legs, and with what is left: his paper, ink, and words and whispers of a soul, I give him humanity.  

I read his letters and savor his gadgets and paper smiles shaped like words on words on words. Sometimes I fear it is words all the way down and it is then that I listen to his music, a bending, haunted Mongolian yodel and a background mountain dulcimer. He tells me I am worth more than what happened.  

There is love inside you, he writes. Every time I think about how they treated you I get pissed off. It was wrong. It would have been better if they had thrown themselves into the sea.  

That is the just and divine rage I fall into, and these papers scattered by my bedside, they slosh like mud which they say, God, when he walked the Garden, made to man.   

When I see him in person I hunch and blink tears, turning to stare at the windows in the church as he pulls me with his eyes. He cradles my hand when he shakes it, like a father would, and I think I’ll cry because he is so gentle and kind. The heart isn’t made for such beauty, I think. I am just a girl. This is what Moses must have felt as God passed before his eyes, piece by piece by piece. For me God passes by my eyes categorized like words and ink and paper. 

One of his friends when I meet him, stares at me for a second, a double-take, and points to his eyes, then mine. Heart to heart, he says with gentle hands. And I soften a little, wait a little, watch as one more drop of mud is made to man.

Note: this story is from 2007. View other 2007 stories and 2007 voting results. View current stories.