The New Crustacean
I looked at the new crustacean one more time. It lay in the palm of
hand. My fingers were dark and crooked, fingers of an old hag. The crustacean’s
little black eyes glared at me. I had named it after myself. I felt
entitled. I had discovered it, though I concede I hadn’t researched
its class. Documentation no longer interests me.
If I told you about myself, you’d never be further from the truth.
that I exist only in the imagination—most certainly not. On that
resolve has strengthened. I also do not mean that I am a sort of reasoning
lie. That would imply that I am also conscious of the truth. No, I am
entirely by context. Here I am a father, a brother, a lover, a friend,
and now, an enemy. All this has become quite clear to me.
I was on the train to Portland, to visit my sister. The sunshine and
clicking of the rails lulled me into a comfortable half-sleep. Houses
by. A lumber yard. Huge smoke stacks. Fences. A forest. Later, I was
a cucumber sandwich and drinking a cold can of seltzer. A little girl
climbed into the seat next to me. She reached out and touched my arm.
Her fingers were soft and warm. She looked at me. Her eyes were green.
Her mother appeared and took her by the sleeve. Leave the nice man
alone. I was alone again.
The rails stretched on and I opened the newspaper. It was the anniversary
of the bombing of Nagasaki. There was a profile on the employees at
Hanford, who produced the plutonium that went into the making of Fat
Man. They were proud to be part of something larger than themselves.
didn’t understand that. I always wanted to be part of something
The conductor announced the name of the next town but it came out
garbled. Unintelligible, OR. The train stopped. I got off to stretch
legs. At least that’s what I say now that it’s convenient.
It was a small
town, hardly worth the stop. I realized I had been here before, when
a boy. There was a national park five miles outside of town where my
family had camped. A large lake was its main attraction. We swam in it,
and my father and I did some fishing. The women, as my father would
refer to my mother and sister, went to town to shop.
KREG HASEGAWA lives in Seattle. He has co-edited Monkey
Puzzle, a literary
magazine, and has curated a reading series at the now defunct 1506 Projects
Gallery. His work has appeared in Sal Mimeo, The
News, Spring Formal and
Greetings. He is currently working on a degree in Library Science. A
due out this winter.
Sienese Shredder #1
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