I Don't Know Anything About the Greeks
Alone, in a car, screaming toward midnight.
Each moment is a self-contained ecosystem, like pond water in a jar. The conversation is a kind of little bacteria, and it is eating away at the host. I am the host, and you are not really listening. I am the host, and you are speaking.
It is time to cross town lines and I stop pretending. I say, “We're both miserable. Why not pull over, illuminate a mound of dirt with the headlights, break off a rib and bury it.”
“Because you are not a scientist, and you don't know how things really work. How things really are. You're too sad. A God shouldn't be sad. A God should be violent or jealous or hopefull or full of pride. You never studied the Greeks?”
I was too busy playing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and smoking weed from an apple. But if we did it, and the rib really sprouted a tree, and the fruits became a child, the child would be as miserable as the parent. It would not be right to bring up a child of God like that. It wouldn't be right for me to be a father. Think about where I came from.
“Where do you come from?” you ask.
I come from a patch of black ice and an over-correction. I come from a strip mall parking lot that stretches back into the horizon like a mountain range. Sure, I don't know much about the Greeks, but I heard about Odysseus. If we turned around and we beat the jaws of midnight, I would have a Lowe's parking lot for a homecoming.
“We don't get to choose our homeland,” you say.
“But I choose not to go back. I guess we should keep driving. I won't try to create a child from my flesh.”
“Our flesh,” you say, correcting me.
JONNY BOLDUC is a newcomer to the lit scene. A smattering of memes and self published books of poetry dot his resume. He lives in Maine, works as a teacher, and is a devoted guardian to three cats. When he was born, the only thing that was whispered to him by God was “keep it safe” as he was passed a small, open flame.