Snow Monkey
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In The Long Run

Jimmy Chen

He was walking in the middle of the street. Someone once explained to him the difference between asphalt, concrete, and cement. Contemplating this acquired information felt satisfying as he walked, finding a preference for the left side, but mostly staying in the middle.

He remembered walking down that street every day after school. All those years passed and he never saw the trees, the winter branches remaining like coarse dry hair, slicing pieces of sky into shards of pale glimmer. Now that he was older, he saw these things, and this made him feel older.

When his mother opened the front door, he could see that she had many grey hairs, bands of them like pretend rainbows, ribboning and curving like persian writing. She had grown her hair out, the way girls do, and he told her she looked like a girl, and she smiled.

She asked him why he came home, and he said because he remembered how young he was. She told him that he wasn't young anymore, that the world around him was becoming older, and that he needed to get older too. He told her he would try, but that he just wanted to go inside the house and rest.

It had been a rather long walk, and he wanted to lay down on his bed. When he got to his room, he saw that his bed was gone, so he lay down on the floor. Everything is growing up, he thought, getting higher and higher. Life is an unpainted ladder, I am on the floor.

He slept for some time. He went to the window and saw a hill behind his house, a hill he had never seen before. He felt a deep urge to climb the hill, to gather what it felt like on top, to purge the view out of him. He saw a small house, a small window, a small man, looking.