Magazine article Tikkun

What Were You Doing?

Magazine article Tikkun

What Were You Doing?

Article excerpt

1. Autumn tastes like despair. Mailbox tongue hangs down stupidly: raped woman breadbox in a robbed house. Sun burns gold clouds turn into beige smoke. Who needs all that blueness when it's so cold down here?

2.

What were you doing when you heard the news that time? I was in Creative Writing class Gothic building Teacher's College somewhere near Baltimore. At first they said "shot"--"The President's shot"--not "killed." "How terrible!"--but a sting of indecent thrill entered my blood like a chemical. How exciting to have the day all shot to pieces! How anarchic to see expectancies turned on their backs! Of course he'll recover. Of course it will end as it should. And then two students came late in a solemn rush. They sat with their friend. They whispered, "He's dead." The teacher kept talking of metaphor. The class turned to stone.

What were you doing when you heard the news this time? I was in my kitchen making coffee. We were going to have pumpkin bread and blueberry preserves bought at the farmer's stand. Inside, green tomatoes ranged on a counter to ripen. Outside, a blaze of bronze. We were talking of Kit, our black cat, who needs his second rabies shot. We should bring him in to the vet's over Christmas vacation. …

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