Time to Buy New Sheets
According to every marketing email I receive, time is running out. To learn a language, to buy these 400 thread count sheets, to plant seeds for spring, to call your grandma, to stop eating nitrate-filled meats, to start being nicer to yourself. I think about where time is running to. Someplace where it is not lonely, but where there is an abundance of itself, where it feels no need to run but join, through osmosis, its counterparts. And then maybe abundant time will meet up with space and space will merge with time and create a tear in the universe I can slip into where there are no marketing emails constantly reminding me of my gross negligence.
I stole when I was young. Stuffed things in hats and pockets. Then dining and ditching in a town so small we’re all practically related, so why even try and run? Then subtler ways. Sitting and enjoying free popcorn, breadsticks, water, then leaving. It was all free to me. It was all there for me. But nothing, really, was there or free. Everything was very far away unless I took it. The ease of happiness I saw in other people I had to squeeze dry when they looked away.
I never met my dad’s father, who was gone before I was born. Who was more alive because he was gone. Who was a man that through death lived in the house I grew up in, and in the ancient rocks in the field, and the swamp. He flew with the herons in the morning. And he ran alongside the deer. He lived in the crooked barn and was there when it fell in ’92. He watched the wooden beams sink into the swampy earth, one by one, where they too found another way to live.
EJ Green’s short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Wigleaf, HAD, Fleas On The Dog, Necessary Fiction and others. Their debut novel, Confessions of a Curious Bookseller, came out in 2020. Originally from the beautiful farmlands of Upstate New York, they now live in PA with their partner and two cats.
Photography by: Kiki Falconer