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Atlas & Alice | Issue 2 Winter 2014

Pass Go and Collect One sunny afternoon in May, after finishing a brief hike in a state park, I fell over next to my car in the parking lot. Someone called for an ambulance and I went to the nearest hospital, where they discovered they had to open me immediately and replace this with that and sew me up and send me on my way. That had been quite a blow, a derailment that knocked me from my tracks for five or six months, and yet the events of a different day a little more than one year later devastated me. The day he died I had been out mowing the lawn, enjoying the sun beating down on me, something I refrained from doing the summer before – doctors’ orders. I showered after, put on some clean clothes, went downstairs and poured a glass of white wine, went back upstairs, turned on the computer, performed the necessary preliminaries, and looked at the list of messages. There to my surprise was one from a name recognized but unfamiliar with a subject line that included a name both recognized and familiar, a name for several decades bibliographically at least closely associated with mine own, or maybe I should reverse that order and say mine with it, but nonetheless the subject line importuned bad news, sad news, final news, or in short, the end. When I fell in that state park parking lot I felt no pain and little discomfort. For much of that troubling time it had been as if my body separated from my mind and the latter looked down upon the former with distant and cold clinical interest. Electronic mail. For someone who grew up when we did and can hear the sound of the old truck a mile distant or the step a block away, such a term seems an affront or 26

Profile for Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine

Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine  

Issue 2 | Winter 2014

Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine  

Issue 2 | Winter 2014

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