Heaven

by Mitchell Grabois

1. I got too close to Heaven. Angels melted my face. It’s not that they lacked compassion or had a cruel streak—they were just following the laws of Physics. Even angels must follow those laws.

2. Wasps colonized my attic. I had to grab a can of wasp spray from my wife’s hand. She was a farm girl and stronger than me. She grabbed the can back and hit me in the head with it. Our love was being overwhelmed by our differences. I found the wasps’ buzzing comforting, consoling. I heard messages in the drone, designed for me alone, telling me about the true nature of the universe.

My wife said that if the droning didn’t stop, she was going to fall off the wagon—was I too stupid to understand? Yet now that she’d hit me with the can of wasp spray, she couldn’t use it. She had created an inner barrier that she didn’t understand, but was unable to surmount. She went outside without saying anything, got into her old Pontiac and headed down the road. She was going to the meth house. Whether she was going to do meth, or just fuck the meth maker, I didn’t know. But I couldn’t pursue her. I was too engaged, listening to the wasps’ messages.

3. It’s a nice piece of fiction or nonfiction I’ve written—I can’t tell the difference anymore. I’ve hypnotized myself and can’t undo it—this is the creative process. Creativity has confounded reality.  It doesn’t matter. Nothing’s at stake.

It’s not my adult son’s maid vacuuming his carpet and crying over what’s happening in the Ukraine, where her parents and sister still live. She’s thin and has a lot of prominent veins in her arms and shoulders. She has a firm grip from working hard. She can’t find her business card in her purse. She tells me I know a lot about women.

It’s not kidnapped girls in Nigeria getting raped and traumatized. The distinction between their conscious minds and unconscious minds is also blurring, but not in the service of art. I want to use my wealth to buy them, all of them. I want to educate them and put them to work in my restaurant, in my factory, my amusement park. Wherever they want to work, that’s where I want them to work. I will pay them $15/hour, well over minimum wage. I will bring their parents here. I will get them medical treatment for their poor and neglected bodies.

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