Writer Steve Stormoen writer

Everything Looks Perfect Until Our Eyes Disappear

by Steve Stormoen


You lean against the doorway and tell me it’s all going to be ok. My blinds are drawn tight against a day sunny like a Pollock painting, and I’m debating on whether to include corn to the list of products I boycott. No, it’s really not ok. Nothing will fix me, I say. Don’t bother. Since I realized I’ll never have the stones to blow up that dam, I like it just fine sitting in the dark reading Derek Jensen again and again. Can’t we just pretend we’re all grown up already? That our whole lives are behind us and haven’t amounted to shit?

What the hell does that solve? you ask. It’s not just the standard retort it could be – I think you’re actually curious. I’m taken aback. Through muttering starts and stops, I tell you a story dribbling through my lips like radio blips and piano keys – the butterfly effect on steroids. If she creates a hurricane with each flutter of her wings, then what about the two hundred years we’ve spent burning all the coal we discover in our stockings each Christmas? Are some sins so old, so deep and dirty that they can never be absolved? Is this the reason I’m broken?

But there is something we can do, though, you say. There are curly light bulbs. We can burn the wind instead, and we can drink only sunlight. Your eyes sparkle and I think this makes you aroused. You’re six words ahead of yourself and just gaining steam. In fact, it’s already happening – hybrid vehicles and colder showers, you say. Everything is okay. We’ve basically already won. There’s a soot factory chugging along right across town, but maybe if I hang around enough I’ll learn to forget it too. I listen to you talk as if your words make the world go around, or – no – let’s go back further. You make the sun rise.

So for you, I flip the switch and smile. It’s another warm February evening and the ocean is right next to the beach. Life is so much better now that we’ve won. In the morning, the clouds become solid enough to stand on, so we climb up on top. Fireworks are exploding in our back yard like mushrooms, and we don’t even stop to look. The glow feels so good on our cheeks that it’s not difficult for me to pretend we’re in love. Below us, the earth washes away, and everything looks perfect until our eyes disappear.