“Why did Granna die? I didn’t want her to die.”
“Well, she was 94-years-old and that is a long time to live and so she just died.”
“Will you and Daddy die?”
“Yes…but not for a long time.”
The boy was without expression and asked, “Will I die Mommy?”
“No. You will live forever.”
“What is forever?”
“It’s like a beautiful flower that you plant in the sun and then water every day and sing to it and slowly it grows higher and higher into the sky and then one day it is so high you think that it will go on forever and reach the sun.”
“Am I like a flower Mommy?”
“Yes. You are Mommy’s flower.”
There is an infinite line. Well it seems infinite, but everything must end. Even arrow shaped lines. He crossed the line.
His mind silently asked questions. Where is my passport? I need my passport to leave the planet. I need my visa too. Where are they? Should I wake her? The hotel room was filled with flames and he walked over to the desk and opened the drawer and there was his passport and visa. He took them out and slipped them inside his pocket. The front of the hotel was on fire and the smoke was rising. With luck he could catch a helicopter and be at the rocket pad in a few hours. He was home safe, he thought, and then he smeared gel on his face and walked down to the lobby to pay his bill.
He left her there on the burning bed. She was dreaming about a remembrance of joy. Everything was forever, but it was also fleeting like the cadence and stroke of neon through the air and she could feel it pulling her along with oars in the water. On the shore were people at a restaurant overlooking the river. They were smiling in the afternoon, talking leisurely. Some of them were sitting on the slope of the bank. The men had taken off their jackets and the women had on well-crafted hats. She wanted to wave, but her arms were heavy and asleep and so the happy people remained untouched by her and they all seemed content, trapped in their painterly gaze.
The fire raged in the room.
As he fell, he was those things and more. His whole life had been the attempt to gather all of that inside…everything that was possible given the limits of his outline, but at that precise moment, irony came crashing down and he couldn’t see much of anything, only the light and color of the houses around him. Shadows were up ahead and the last thing he could really make out was a wedding reception through a doorway. Sounds of the traffic filtered down from the mountain road. An image flashed through his mind. It was of the bodies floating face down in the brown Sobat water waiting for the fish to eat them. The bottom of the river was a garden and the fish were the caretakers. This was his final three seconds and the sun reflected off his face.
“Will I die Mommy?”
“No you will live forever,” and then his head hit a rock in the road, but it didn’t matter and the cars continued to pass him for a few more minutes until a little girl in the backseat of a taxi yelled and the driver stopped. A crowd gathered and a flower seller came over and placed a sunflower at his feet. The sky began to burn and the people knew within a few days the flames would cover the town and all business, all crime, and all affairs of the heart would be done either in the flames or in hot air balloons floating high above the sad people twisting upon the ground.