nerve versus sinew by Nuria Isabel
Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God.
I recently had a bright idea when it had become unendurable and all else was pointless: to head to the first spot I’d ever been to in this city. Over the years I visited that place many times, usually with friends or on a date. It makes sense to take somebody you want to become familiar with to the place you’re most familiar with. And in my naivety, I imagined that if I shared with someone my passion, maybe a person or two might develop that enthusiasm for me. There might be nothing vainer than that. I remembered everything about the night sky show, down to the location of Polaris. When the show ended, often in the early evening, I’d point the star out to them and drone on about the beauty of a Polaris, which “doesn’t appear to move” no matter the time of day or the season of the year. It seemed logical to walk alone on the same footpaths today. Inside a nearby stadium—more than forty years old and with walls perfused by the faintest of yellows and greens—is a pool and a diving board. And I didn’t know when the pool had last been filled with water. Admittedly, the stadium is less promising than a screening room for a date, but its depths are hollow. Standing there I contemplated this for a hard moment, then returned outside knowing well what that would mean because there’s nothing vainer than that.
I went before to the city as a tourist but in recent months I’ve been in and out. And I’m in love, and with the unrepentant grit of this place, and to be honest, so happy. I had been worrying about fertility recently, I was in the clinic for lack of it only earlier this year. After I left, I worried that I may never conceive, and I don’t know if I want to, but I should be granted the chance and the choice. I am so elated and I’m on such a continuous edge that this could be it. God forgive me I don’t think I did this to myself I did not think my body possessed the ability to. My stomach was in ruins at this movie theatre weeks ago or so and I missed the first ten minutes of Barbie while in the accessible stall and I’m told that the reason I don’t think the plot follows very well is because I did miss the most important ten minutes of it. The cards dealt is an expression that makes so much more sense to me now for Texas Hold’em in the park, and maybe I can bluff easily because I don’t even know if I actually have good cards to begin with. Because it didn’t make it past a few weeks of conception but I wish for a second that I could know what you could’ve looked like, for just a second. Because How gratifying could that be if the association were also that of love of an image of a conceived person, and the devotion of a best person, and not aches and withdrawals.
Nuria Isabel is a writer from Bilbao, Spain currently residing in Montreal, Quebec. Her work focuses primarily on grief and the incorporeal, expressed through the mundane. She is currently working on a longer form written experimental project