laugardagur, maí 05, 2007


Walking out I passed a gathering of young people spilling from the porch onto the lawn: tan-legged girls in denim miniskirts and bare-chested boys in caps. I see a punch thrown, hear knuckles against cheekbone. One staggers from the porch and his attacker flies after him. Now they take his windmilling arms and hold him back. I flip open my phone and press the three numbers, let my thumb hover over the green button. Do I have to call? I shout. No, no; they say they're all right.

They aren't. Purple blooms around the struck boy's eye, his head weaves and he cannot stand. He flops out of his tiny girlfriend's embrace into the arms of his friends. I hear useless snippets: "ice," "all right," "something cold." I am about to press the button. Just then I see it all become real for one of them. He scoops his friend up in Achillean arms and bears him off. I do not leave until I hear "hospital" and see the car pull out of the drive.

Walking in on the same street this morning I had seen a squirrel on a windshield, head down, its body curled gently inward. Empty beer bottles below it and above it on the hood and on the roof. A sad place to be dead. I didn't know who to call.

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