Fiction from Emily Dezurick-Badran

 Photo by Patrick Schöpflin

Lateness

It isn’t as people think—that we, the chronically late, have no comprehension of time. In fact the opposite is true. We understand time best because we know it as manifold.

Rushing through London towards an appointment with the trauma specialist we know we’ll arrive on time only so long as the traffic light is green, so long as the train runs on time, so long as we are not stopped by distressed tourists from Seville who want to borrow our mobile to call their host, Angelina—

and even before we step outside our flat we’re propelled into many future Londons where the traffic light occupies all states: green, yellow, and red; where the traffic light is useless because the pedestrian crossing has been closed due to accident; where that accident is simultaneously harmless and fatal, persons living or dead standing or sitting or lying on stretchers, the stretchers lifted with feet hanging loosely off the end, the way they would down the end of a Saturday morning bed; and to avoid the traffic accident we may veer sharply right or sharply left, down a familiar street or a street unknown, a strange narrow street on which stands an office block bearing a plaque that says the building was erected over the site of William Blake’s childhood house—a house we know nothing of or perhaps have read about after all, a house from whose window young William Blake gazed, and instead of seeing the heap of plague-poxed corpses beyond, saw the face of God; and as we pass the windows of the concrete monolith we see nothing, or perhaps we see the face of William Blake, and are lifted as on wings, up and up—

only to alight back at our present time, where we are late, and the traffic light is turning—

.

.

Emily Dezurick-Badran is a librarian and roller derby player living in California. Her short fiction has previously appeared in Fractured West, the Tin House Open Bar, and The Stockholm Review.

1 Comment

  1. beckybrook says:

    Great! I was really taken by this. I mean, really Taken!

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