Showing Up

Before the hammer swings, my life is stretched out before me like a piece of piano wire. To remind me why this is all necessary.

He is across the room right now, and he is making a show of pulling out instruments and turning on machines. Before the revolution, time seemed to be this endless thing that went on forever. Playing video games or watching television for hours. Staring at walls. Never doing anything worthwhile. Not going to school. Not showing up.

He is putting on a butcher's apron, to prevent splatter. After, there was no time, and we were always running. People were getting abducted, every day. They’d be found weeks later, unrecognizable. I knew it might happen to them. But now, it is happening to me.

He is whistling something, and letting his hand glide over his tools. We got desperate, and so did they. We started getting sloppy. I was walking to class, and I was so tired. I had been up all night playing revolutionary, and now I had to play student. When they grabbed me, I just couldn’t fight back. They came out of the thin blue sky.

He raises the hammer. They begged me to carry a cyanide pill. I told them no.

He swings, his face contorted in violence. For the time it is in the air, it is logical. I understand torture, mentally. I think I understand pain.

The hammer makes contact with my left arm. The line collapses into a single point.