Life Is for Everyone

By Jordan Becker

[he opens his eyes]

. . .

light

I’m so scared but

water and color and noise

. . .

[he breathes]

. . .

“There, there,” she coos. Her eyes fill up with tears. From across the room, miles away it seems, her husband smiles. He is crying, too. They stare at each other, endlessly, shamelessly, passionately, uninterrupted as the world passes between them with its movement and its action and its bed-cleaning and glove-changing and nurse-beckoning. He smiles. She smiles. Deep in the cocoon of blankets, nested inside her thin, strong arms, the baby sleeps. She looks down.

Little Us is here.

. . .

[he laughs]

. . .

look

at the sun

and the crunchy leaves and that man’s beard and that woman’s funny-looking dog

Oh, but my high school trig teacher really had it in for me, let me tell you.

. . .

[he asks]

. . .

It’s a given, really

what we long for most.

it’s to feel a feeling

so we can say

I feel a feeling!

and then think about it

for a while

and oooh that’s a nice feeling

isn’t it?

here try mine

. . .

[he jumps]

. . .

and then we feel a lot of feelings

and other things

sometimes only other things

all these other things

and we are so lost we have to

talk and get it out there and let it go and release the tension

to anyone (everyone? It’d be nice for a second, though)

and in the end we …

. . .

[he cries]

“…and in the end we find ourselves back at the beginning.”

Class nearly over, the professor hesitates. He clears his throat as if readying himself for another lecture, something on the Intricacies of His Failure in His Second Marriage. Apparently the freshman art students practice their charcoal drawings under his eyes. He pushes up his glasses, sips vodka, blinks twice.

“So what have we learned?” he asks. He sniffs. The question hangs in the air like a long-occupied but hardly-worn noose hanging over the crowd of students, unmentioned, fully noticed, shoving the smell of its rotted corpse down every clenched gullet. Its image is reflected in the tears of those in the balcony. Not a sound is made.

. . .

[he stands]

. . .

It hurts, Professor. My roommate said this class was an easy ‘A’

and you don’t understand I need to pass this class

because my mom will kill me if I don’t

everyone agrees with me

so please let me go

without forcing

me to take

the exam

. . .

[he falls]

. . .

help

[he screams]

. . .

Just give me my hairbrush so I can go back to singing.

This post was previously published on Medium and is republished here with permission from the author.

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