The Jenkins girl asks if she can turn her book report in Tuesday instead of Monday. If I say yes, the whole class will want the extra day. “Sure, Sally.” Who cares. I should’ve made them due Friday anyway so I could’ve graded them over the weekend and had something to do. “Tuesday, everybody.”
I stop by the grocery store on the way home. Need to gain some weight. Besides, eating will give me something to do.
“You buying that or what?”
How long have I been standing here? “Sorry.” I hand the cashier the can of tomato soup.
Back home, I start to put a pan on the stove, but realize I’d have to clean the pan. Might as well eat the soup out of the can. I reach for a spoon. No … I’d have to rinse the spoon. I swig a little out of the can, then pour the rest down the drain. Looks like blood. Reminds me … I overheard the students calling me wolf man today.
I go to the bathroom and look in the mirror. Probably should start shaving again. As I reach for my razor, the pill bottle tugs like gravity at my hand. No, I’m not going to start those again. They go to my head, shit on my brain and numb me from my fingertips to my toes. Suddenly it hits me — time dilation.
That’s what happened at the grocery store. That’s why the cashier thought I was standing there longer than I thought I was. I’ve gotten too close to a micro dark hole and not realized it. Shaken, I lie down on the kitchen floor. I feel the dark hole pulling me in feet first, my body beginning to stretch.
Maybe spaghettification isn’t so bad. Who’s afraid of the deep dark hole, the deep dark hole, the deep dark hole? Who’s afraid of the deep dark hole? Tra la tra la tra la. A song a day keeps the doctor away.
Perhaps the singularity will rearrange my atoms and fling me into another universe. A brand new me in a brand new world with golden birds, winged horses and genteel people in long, white robes. As their twin suns cartwheel across the sky, I’ll tell them about my journey through the dark hole. They’ll give me tea and ask if the dark hole is a scary place. I’ll take a sip, shake my head and sing them a song. Tra la. Tra la. Tra la.
David Henson and his wife have lived in Brussels and Hong Kong and now reside in Peoria, Illinois. His work has appeared in various journals including Pithead Chapel, Moonpark Review, Bull and Cross, Literally Stories, Riggwelter and Fiction On The Web.