Sherrie Flick

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by Sherrie Flick

After the storm, my clock started running backwards. I told this to my boyfriend, Bob, when he called from Toronto. He said, "Impossible."

He explained the motor, how it wasn't designed to reverse, how it couldn't possibly rotate in the opposite direction. I was doing the dishes while he talked, the receiver jammed between my ear and shoulder, the cord bouncing in and out of suds.

"Must be something else," he said, then he said, "Impossible," again as if the discussion was over. I knew he was impatient to talk about other things like Nietzsche and baseball.

I watched minutes ticking back from where they had come. Soon it was five minutes before Bob had called. I let the drain out of the sink; I dried my hands on the kitchen towel. I hung up the phone in the middle of a sentence about RBIs, smiling to myself.

I knew if I waited long enough I simply wouldn't know Bob anymore. The thought turned and turned, then settled snugly in my head. I put some water in the kettle, turned the flame on high, and sat down at my kitchen table.

The phone was ringing and my instinct was to pick it up and apologize. But now, time was flying back and back, and it seemed my life would just go on forever and ever except in the other direction.

Soon I wouldn't be saying hi to Bob in philosophy class. Instead I would sit on the other side of the room and meet Steve, a kinder man with an interest in houseplants and the capacity to believe in the impossible.

 

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