August 2016

“We are the hero of our own story.” -Mary McCarthy

In exactly 500 words, what is happening here?

Michael Lejeune says:

It’s not a pig’s nose. It’s the visitor’s face.

If I were to decide, at this very moment, that I wanted more than any other thing in this world, to see with my own eyes a pig, right now, and with exquisite fervor, I would be at a complete and total loss. I am sure they are around, and if it were possible for me to somehow program my car to seek out the nearest one and drive me directly to it, I assure you that I would know not a single turn and recognize none of the journey. I do not even leave the inner city where I live and work nearly ever. Somehow I doubt there even are pigs within a half-mile of my apartment, unless you count bacon, ham, sausage, or other swine products, and I do not.

Yet this picture was taken with my camera. The metadata shows this. It was taken on a day when I was in the presence of my coworkers, who would all vouch to having seen me, and I was noted by both Carla the grocery clerk at the corner market on thirteenth and by my neighbor John, whom I do not like for the smell of must and cigarettes that hangs about him but whom I have no further opinions about. The evidence clearly shows that I could not have left the city in time to take this snapshot in a rural setting, where one may find a pig.

It came in through my window. It looked at me for a long time. I did not feel that I could move. When I did, it was already turning away. That is why the picture is out of focus: it was hurried.

There was no evidence of its visit in the window; which I dusted using common bathroom talc, also purchased at the corner market (though Carla was not working). No fingerprints. I do not think that the visitor opened the window. I realize this lends no credit to my story. It is however, the truth.

There was no evidence in the carpet. Though I do keep a berber carpet of a fair thickness at the expense of having to vacuum weekly and steam-clean monthly, it is fairly thin and footsteps do not leave the tufted filamental yarn in a particular inclination, even for heavy individuals, which this visitor certainly was not.

It did not say anything, and no noise was made that could possibly have been heard in the apartments to either side of mine, and my window looks at the wall of the building opposite, which is quite close, and it seems in reflection that a ship would have to have been very small to fit there, not that it matters because I did not see a ship and do not claim that there was one.

But still. It was here, it looked at me. Its eyes paralyzed me. They were black. That is all I remember of them.


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