2 March 2003 | Vol. 3, No. 1

A Man

If you don't know what love is, you don't know what it isn't.
– Alexander Theroux

Still in the sunlight he had to squint. His eyes, never his most trustworthy apparatus, still hurt. Sunglasses were an option at first but they made him self-conscious, as baneful a death as blindness.

She was blond like the waves of a rill, bright like a blister. His memory was retted with estrus recalled. It always is, isn't it? Where is love, where romance, reading? Sex, hot as a swinked gypsy, kept her alive in him, a flame, an old one that still hurt like the sun, the overexposed sun.

Inside he lay with a cool rag over his forehead and tried to remember all the books of Proust's masterwork. He tried counting sitcoms with monkeys in them. His head was yet full of her, a piñata, confetti and old food where clarity once reigned.

He saw her once outside her apartment. He was driving by but it was an accident, an accident waiting to happen. She looked younger if such a thing were possible, her hair longer, nitid, a cruel fire. He stopped driving.

He stopped driving and stayed home too much. His friends called. His answering machine ceased picking up clues. When they found him they said he was blind, at first. Later, they amended their prognosis. A man caught inside can die of lack. A man can only last so long without himself.

About the author:

Corey Mesler has been a book reviewer for numerous papers for over 15 years. He has published work in Yellow Silk, Black Dirt, Blue Unicorn, and Green Egg, and that's just the colors. He had a short story in New Stories from the South, 2002 (Algonquin Books) and his novel, Talk, was published in 2002 as well. He can be reached online at http://www.burkesbooks.com or by email at .

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 3, No. 1, where "A Man" ran on March 2, 2003. List other work with these same labels: fiction, flash fiction.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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