Atlas and Alice - issue 6

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Atlas & Alice | Issue 6, Spring 2016

Quick like love and anger, the night she threw her glass at my head outside of the bar on 3rd Street. The next morning she would call, ask why I wasn’t next to her, wouldn’t believe me when I said what she had done. I told her I believed in forgiveness and went to her. There were several things I told her I believed in. I remember her bed, reading a never-ending supply of X-men issues. The first time we kissed, our tongues slick with cheap scotch. No one told me to hold onto these things. The call came six months after I had last left Wyoming. A visit without seeing her. In Manhattan that day my wife and I had wandered the subways, watching the people in their never ending flow, watching it all move—and we affected none of it. . Then, outside the teahouse, a man sitting on the sidewalk, blood spitting from his nose, his hands snapping to his face over and over. A new friend told me to leave it alone, to let him come out of it himself. That it is more dangerous sometimes to help than to do nothing. I had to let the small town kid go. I had to quit trusting everyone. This, then, is how some things come to their end. Not in silence and not in a sudden burst of sound but like every other moment. They are expected. They quietly line up and stretch out before us. Every time I leave Wyoming now, every time I fly back to New York, I am leaving Larae. It is not the ocean that calls to me, it is her ghostly voice in the wind coming down off of the mountains. Every time, I am leaving her behind – betraying her all over again. “I think you’d better sit down for this.” I sat down as I was told to. I let the words tunnel through me.

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