by Irene Gentle
I have a moon on my balcony. It blasts uninvited through my windows like cousin E when he showed up with his dumb music and the six-pack he wouldn’t share and no boyfriend and no job again. He said he quit them but he probably didn’t because he didn’t change for five days. I hated his stupid sweater, mustard piping, mustard in June, but then he jumped way down onto a mattress someone junked on the grass, like we jumped into the river when we were kids. Before they put a fence up. After someone’s leg broke. I was secretly relieved, I hate falling, I fear breaking, but E falls for everything, especially bleached blonde boys and hope. He thinks there’s always a mattress. He thinks there’s always a river with no rocks. He thinks breaking is normal. He jumped because mattress, because fun, because he hates that song too so I turned off his stupid music as he lay looking up from the ground.
I saw the text from his boyfriend when I used his phone for the ambulance. It said I love you, E, don’t worry.
E said goodbye with just a postcard three years later. He moved to Kamloops, who goes to Kamloops? He says he’s fine, he joined a company, he has insurance. I pretend to believe.
After the fall but before Kamloops we burned that stupid sweater, we talked of flying, how E hates that song too and he jumped just for fun. I said listen, I just said listen, then nothing at all, and E laughed like I was funny and I laughed like I was funny then I went home. Now E’s in Kamloops and I’m alone here, the moon on my balcony. That stupid song in my head.
Irene Gentle is a writer, editor, journalist and BOTN nominee lumping along in Toronto, Canada which has the third worst traffic in the world apparently so don't blame her for being slow. Words in or coming to The Eunoia Review, The Hooghly Review and Litro Magazine. Others buried in a quiet backlot with salt to keep them down.