It’s Time to Choose Your Own Adventure

Ashley Ellen Goetz

I was finally about to fall asleep when the world got all dark-like, it was black, it was wormholing, with a hint of purple and my head hurt something awful. And I realized I needed to download my memories. They were getting garbled with some many hours blending upon hours, unsorted, unfiled. Too much in a day’s head when you are never really asleep. You think you are, but if you were, why would a clock’s tick keep you up? Why would you hear the still wind? The crickets that you are aware are not chirping through the closed window are all still in your head, you can hear them whenever you want to; still clinging in your head to the sounds like precious objects that need to be glass-encased, in a chest of wood, tiny objects, miniature you might say, like from that tiny store in Northampton that I’m still not sure if it really exists or is a cruel joke or is so tiny itself that you have to go in the mouse hole to find it, but there isn’t a name to indicate such a store, even within that mouse hole in the mouse world or maybe it’s tinier still down an unexplainable ant hole that could not have been built without light or air or some other force, and why go to such painstaking and terrifying depths unless you were hiding out from something terrible, some outer-worldly horrifying force; some thing lived on through that heat, through that cold, that toxic air, that terror in that not-so-tiny ant hole for humans some how by some way that you would have to drop your faiths to believe; the crickets are still chirping in my ears, in my soul, in all the Debbie’s in the world, big Debbie’s and little Debbie’s–the cream filled Debbie’s, because sometimes you don’t care if it has been processed three times and wrapped up in that snack cake plastic because it takes you back to another taste in time, a parallel moment; you wish that food would be engineered to be as healthy and delicious as possible; oh that’s right, it can. Wouldn’t commerce get along just fine if we all slept in until 10:30 and only worked until three; it would work as long as we all agreed to enjoy the extra time out doors, with our families and friends. We will cook for ourselves, don’t worry. We’re all grown up now. Add in an extra five hours to your day, you can have those life hours back now; 5 x5 = 25; those twenty-five hours of your week back; 25 x 52 = 1,300; those one-thousand three hundred hours of your year back; keep those for you; keep those for living; books could probably be read during this “rest” time; naps taken; food cooked; rice steamed; clothes washed; hems mended; blankets quilted; squash mashed; potatoes stewed; gardens tended; hula hoops suspended; cats offended; catting off at each other because they are insecure in themselves; small black cat pauses in your window, looks with yellow marbles and stares into your soul, or doesn’t; you close the window; it’s time to choose your own adventure:

Will you…

A. Flip to the blank pages on 111-113 ELIC, by JSF and fill them with your tears?

OR

B. Flip through 551 thin sheets to ponder what time was like during the year 1891-1892?

Which do you pick?