thrice great hermes
by stanley lieber
shapes moved in the back of vidya’s mind.
he retreated to that back room and from out of its filing cabinets he produced folders, notebooks, small boxes, sheafs of lined and unlined paper, various folds of miscellanea. more had arrived.
he sifted through the incoming effluvia and selected a large manila envelope, more or less at random. instinct for his guide, he broke the seal he himself had placed and dumped the contents onto the table. he watched as his hands nimbly sorted the material. none of this was deliberate, per se. all of it seemed to spring from an unseen well. he could only try, somehow, to interpret the results.
the collage of material spoke to him audibly, in his mother’s voice.
"wake up and take out the trash."
vidya reluctantly pulled down the covers and swung his feet onto the floor. cold light flooded his room. unsure of his legs, he ambled groggily into the bathroom where he peeled off his urine-soaked underwear and dropped them into the sink. he turned on the hot water and sat down on the toilet, chewing his fingernail.
what would become of the shapes?
spiraling outward from some internal engine, components breaking apart to shattered pieces, content with the by now familiar recurrence, his vehicle rendered inert.
vidya clutched the bathroom towel, remembering to dry his hands. he glanced at the decorative soap dish his mother had positioned on the back of the toilet and wondered why she never removed the plastic wrappers from the various pieces of soap.
the shapes were all wrong.