I’m trying to find out how you feel about me before the warming of the globe causes seas to rise and floods the small coastal town I’ve called home for 30 years and turbulent waters smash seawalls and inundate basements causing mold and mildew and a state of emergency is declared and you can no longer get to me and I am alone with pump in hand purchased when I knew I needed to know how you feel about me and wanted to live a long life and see you often like one looks at the night sky and marvels at the stars and all the distant light in the universe when there is no moon or clouds or threat of rain and maybe with the help of this apparatus I can live a long life or at least one more day and not be drowned by a catastrophe brought about by rapid changes in temperature and I struggle with this more than you can imagine and think about you more than you know and wake in the middle of the night soaked in sweat by a recurring dream that I die before I know how you feel about me and with eyes half closed I stumble down the stairs to turn on the television to check the weather to be sure there is no chance of rain in the near future or at least for tomorrow and stay awake until morning sucks the remaining life from me and walk around dead like wondering how you feel about me until it becomes all too much and one day I pack a suitcase and leave my coastal town that I’ve lived in for 30 years and find a new place on a hill that is dry and far from potential floods and set roots in a stone house far away from anything familiar and start to breath normal again and rise fresh each morning after dreamless nights and walk outside in the bright sunlight and marvel at the cloudless sky with no threat of rain and inhale the wild scent of thyme and rosemary and the thought of storms or flooding or even the way you feel about me never crosses my mind and I return to the stone cottage excited for the day and sit at my desk and begin to write a new story about a man who moves to Jerusalem and lives on a hill overlooking the desert where it never rains and summer heat is dry and oppressive and everything turns brown and dies from lack of water except for the wild thyme and rosemary that is fragrant and everywhere and all this is new to the man who moved here to be alone and distant from anything in his memory and far from everything in his past and for some reason I can not explain in the middle of all this I open the daily paper and read about a bomb on a bus and underneath the photo of the catastrophe and ensuing firestorm in small print is a story about one of the victims from a small coastal town who was coming to Jerusalem for the first time to surprise a friend and I close the paper and walk out of my cottage that is high on a hill in the city of sadness and wonder when the rains might come and wash the dust from all these stones.
Paul Rabinowitz is an author, photographer and founder of ARTS By The People. Paul’s photography, short fiction and poetry have appeared in many magazines and journals including Burningword, Sacramento Evening Press, The Metaworker, Adirondack Review and others, and was a featured artist in Nailed Magazine in 2020. Paul is the author of Limited Light and The Clay Urn. His short stories are the inspiration for 4 short films to be released in 2021 and is writing a television series with author Erin Jones called Bungalow. https://www.paulrabinowitz.com/