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Sep 2015
Mr. Isaiah N. Felix had overslept. Again.
He put both hands on his face and grumbled a long, sleepy

Mr. Felix rose from his bed, resentful of most everything
including himself.
As he stood, he breathed "****" once more before heading to the bathroom.

He made his feet move toward the seashell themed bathroom
his girlfriend had insisted on decorating,
even though she had her own apartment.

While he ******, he thought about the dream he'd had.
He was a child again standing in the fun house,
afraid to go through the spinning tunnel.

He wondered if it had been a real memory.

He didn’t' have time to shower or shave,
but he hurried to get dressed,
and didn't notice he'd missed a button.

On the way out the door he noticed he had a voicemail.
"Mr. Felix, I'm calling again about your father,
please call us when you can."

He coughed into his fist and walked out the door.

After the short walk to his office,
he incorrectly swiped his keycard,
and the machine sang out its small cadence of rejection

It sounded familiar.

Once he sat down in his cubicle
he was called into his boss's office
by a plump women who wore too much blush, he thought.

His boss cleared his throat and said "Isaac-"
"Isaiah." Mr. Felix corrected.
"Isaiah, I'm sorry to have to do this, but you've been coming in late..."

He continued, but Mr. Felix only closed his eyes, slumped in a squeaky leather chair
and thought about the spinning tunnel in the fun house.
He packed up his things and was gone within the hour.

He found himself at the park, sitting on a bench covered in bird ****.
He looked down at the words scribbled on it,
and amongst the profanities, he read "I will always love you guys"

And he thought that was really beautiful.

Then a pigeon **** on him from somewhere way up above
and he thought to himself,
"Man, I really should have seen that coming."

Mr. Felix decided he would walk to his girlfriend's apartment and surprise her.
He picked up two roses on the way for $9.95
and thought that was a little much to be spending on flowers.

After knocking twice without response he used his spare key.
Inside he found his girlfriend with another man,
******* under seashell sheets.

He thought, "She must really like the beach."
And then he thought that was
a strange thought to have at the given moment.

"What are you doing here?"
"Why aren't you at work?"
"Are those flowers for me?"

Mr. Felix fell to the floor
and as his girlfriend rushed to him covered only in bedsheets,
he noticed a reoccurring pattern on her ceiling.

And then he said
"Do you even love me?"
And again heard a small cadence of rejection.

"Isaiah..." she had said.

As his now ex-girlfriend filled a vase with water for the flowers,
he stood and left her apartment, and thought maybe he felt blood on the back of his head.
He heard her call from the door, but marched forward.

He stood in the elevator feeling slightly dizzy
and remembered the time she had wiped vanilla ice cream
from his chin, and kissed him, and said something very beautiful.

She said, "You're always going to remember this moment."

And then Mr. Felix passed out.

He dreamed again he was standing before the spinning tunnel.
He wanted to walk through it, but for some reason
he knew he shouldn't.

When he opened his eyes
he realized he was in a hospital.
The same hospital that his mother had died in.

He blinked.
And then he thought maybe he should cry,
but he didn't. He couldn’t.

His now ex-girlfriend noticed his eyes had opened.
She stood next to the bed holding a bouquet of flowers
and Mr. Felix wondered how much she'd spent on them.

But he didn't ask.

The nurse said that the damage was not serious,
and after a few hours and a few tests,
his room had been replaced by a young girl who had been struck by lightning.

Incidentally, she had been the one who wrote the really beautiful words on the bench.

His now ex-girlfriend had driven him back to his apartment,
and they were now standing in a silence only she thought was awkward
when Mr. Felix noticed he had another voicemail.

"Mr. Felix, um," the voice began,
"I hate to have to do this over voicemail,
but your father has passed. We've been trying to reach you...”

He continued, but Mr. Felix only closed his eyes, slumped on the floor.
Again he saw the spinning tunnel, this time a kaleidoscope appeared at the end,
and the thought he would walk through it.

When he opened his eyes again
He found he was on the roof.
He wondered if God had carried him there, or if it was just the fire escape.

He wasn’t sure which one he preferred.

Mr. Felix stood on the edge of his twenty-story building.
He noticed that from here all the people looked like ants,
And he noticed that he felt like one.

Mr. Felix closed his eyes once more
And saw the kaleidoscope spinning
In front of him, around and around.

He was amazed by how it was constantly changing,
But somehow it was always how
it was supposed to be.

And it was always beautiful.

Mr. Felix finally summoned the courage
To step into the spinning tunnel
And into the colliding colors.

He thought about his funeral,
And how much they would spend on flowers.
And then he wondered who “they” would be.

He thought about his now ex-girlfriend
And how she cared more about flowers and seashells and *******
Than him.

But she could say some very beautiful things.

He tried to think of what his father would say
And then he tried to remember
What his mother looked like

He heard a sharp wind howl,
Maybe an angel singing,
And a scream he thought might be his own.

He heard every small cadence of rejection.

He heard his grandmother playing her grand piano
With arthritic hands
And a gummy but perpetual smile.

He heard someone say,
In a voice both happy and sad,
“I will always love you guys.”

Mr. Felix heard many things on his way down.
Sirens, shouting, and a love so heavy
It was collapsing on itself.

Mr. Felix finally heard the sound
he’d been waiting
His whole life for

The infinite, the sweet,
The intimate, complete,
The absolutely beautiful song of acceptance.
And then Mr. Felix hit the ground.
Written by
   Rhet Toombs
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