hammer orchids

1. Finally, I swallow and click on the icon for this Google Doc, which I’ve been treating with silence—the silent treatment—for some weeks. What happened to you? it asks plaintively, stirring sleepily…

And because it asks so softly, I wish I could say. Maybe I can? Indeed, maybe the future of my project (and, by extension, my career in academe) depends precisely on my ability to say “what happened”? To me? To you? That’s anticipation. Accessibility. Hospitality. That’s sensitivity. Responsibility. “That’s rhetoric, baby,” as my partner and I frequently quip in the course of everyday conversation. Quip about the attunements of ripening countertop fruit or fasten-seatbelt signs. Mumble about paranoid schizophrenia or Stravinsky’s Perséphone. Intone about senators or professors.

I’ll try. I’ll make you a deal. Here’s the deal—

I’ll go: “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

Another’ll go: “You cant. Ill woman.”

Then comes your part. You’ll lean forward or back (it doesn’t matter which) and go: “Canta, woman.”

On your marks, get set, etc.

E.R. Emison