How Heavy Is Water
by Nick LeBlanc
I had a bump on my face.
It was nestled deep within my beard.
My jawline throbbed when I ran my fingers over it.
Ah, I said, an ingrown hair.
I pressed it with my forefinger.
I felt a wriggling,
Some thin and powerful something
I pressed harder.
It was a hair alright.
Brown, thick, and coarse
Like the rest of the strands
That had pushed their way
Through the skin of my face.
I pulled on it.
I expected pain.
There was no pain.
I continued to pull.
Out it came, longer and longer.
Soon, it was all the way down to my ankles.
I continued pulling until I could no longer.
It must have been a half mile long.
I went into my parent’s garage.
I love the smell of a garage.
Leaning against the wall was my grandfather’s deep-sea fishing rod.
With a yank,
I removed the hair from my face,
My eyes watering sweet tears of rice wine vinegar.
I sat on a stump which my father had driven an ax into.
For two hours,
I wound the hair around the reel.
Then, I fed it through the eyelets
And up the rod.
I tore off one of my toenails and fashioned it into a hook.
I attached this hook to the hair
Which I had fed
Along the rod.
I rode my bike to the river.
I reached into my pocket
And removed the knife
I always keep there.
I cut off my tongue.
I stuck it to the toenail hook.
I leaned back and launched the line,
Casting it hundreds of feet deep into the river.
There was a tug,
Then a pull.
The rod was almost torn from my hands.
I fought back with all my might.
Up from the waves emerged a tuna.
It was the largest tuna I’d ever seen.
Must be one of them river tunas, I said.
I dragged it ashore,
My beard-forged line remaining strong.
Once it was ashore,
I unscrewed my foot from my body
And beat the tuna on its head until it stopped wiggling
And its face had turned to putty.
I dug my hands into the fish’s lifeless body
And feasted on the sweet, tender flesh.
Then, I farted three times
And flew to the moon
Where I fell asleep
Under the shade
Of a transplanted weeping willow.
I was awoken by a man who told me he had invented algebra.
He granted me three wishes.
I wished I could see things with the eyes of a child.
I wished that I had been born a happy man rather than a smart one.
And I wished I wasn’t stuck on the moon.
He gave me a ride home
Where I had the best sleep of my life.
All of this really happened,
Or maybe I’m just thinking
Of a dream I had.