Writer in Residence ยท 01/10/2011

The Sky Doesn't Care Who You Are

in response to “Memoir” by Amy Hempel

Just once in my life — oh, when have I ever wanted anything just once in my life? It’s nice enough she’s given me a choice.

“Friend or enemy?” she repeats.

What can I say, I’m weak-willed? I’d like to love her or hate her, but having done both, and done both again years after I left her the first time, I know it’s only a matter of time.


At home, the one I’m supposed to love (and only love) says, “I want our fight to be over.” Seeing the friend or enemy has sapped my ability to hurt her. She touches me in the place where she gets what she wants. I try not to be the asshole with the imagination; the clock is ticking. We do it from behind.


Three days later, I visit the street I have forbidden myself to visit. “Friend or enemy?” the first one says again.

Don’t ask what happens in the end, or I’ll tell you a myth about lightning. Every time is a new time. That question, at least, has been answered.


posted by First Footing