When you were small, gravity was nothing, really nothing at all because you seemed always in the process of ascent, jumping higher, climbing higher, even when your father hoisted you in his arms so you could touch the early evening moon, you could just about scrape your fingernails across that yellow ball with the little bounce he gave you, still you wanted to be taller, stronger, older, and nothing could stop you, you would live forever without limits, overcoming even school, slow as it was, and then you settled into a kind of routine, with a job and then another and then another after that and yet another, and then emerging out of seemingly nowhere a partner appeared and the weekdays went shooting past, and weekends nothing at all, and then a handful of gravity-free little ones who propelled themselves up, growing taller and stronger and older, at the same time forcing you down a little as they pushed up, and where did the time go because now the weeks rocketed by, and even important work projects came and went, so fast that you forgot some of the most important ones, which were picked up by others who themselves were climbing and driving you down as they clambered upward, and so much of that occurred that after a while you longed for a retirement where you could stop doing what you had to do and start again doing what you really wanted to do (what was that, exactly?), and all at once it arrived, the big event with cakes and speeches and some tears and envy mixed in it, too, all streaming by quickly, beginning and ending in one collapsed breath, and those things you wanted to do were now in front of you but then behind you because most of them you weren’t able to do any more anyway, and at last there you went, down, down in a bed in a funny-smelling white room surrounded by people in white and also by those formerly little ones and everything started fading and gravity was suddenly kicking in with a vengeance, pulling you, dragging you, tugging you down, until finally a tiny black hole appeared and grew larger and you felt yourself sliding into it, resisting only a little at first, until at last it had you and covered you up.


Jerry Jerman

Jerry Jerman lives and writes in Norman, OK. His fiction has appeared in Prairie Schooner50-Word Stories, and 101-words and his nonfiction in Oklahoma Humanities.

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