by Jill Chan

I cut myself while chopping vegetables this morning.  I didn't even feel any pain.  Nor was there blood.  After two minutes, the wound closed up by itself.

Now that we're in heaven, it seems fair that we couldn't get hurt.  We couldn't even die anymore.

Not that I want to die.

I've been living by myself for two months.  I thought that I'd be lonely.  On the contrary, I relish the alone times.

I could go walking any time I want.  I could read any time I want.  Eat anything I want.  Ring up anyone any time I want.

One person has more freedom than two.  That's what I thought before.  That's what I think now.

It's not loneliness I'm afraid of.  It's how I would be happy to be alone too much.

Cutting myself chopping vegetables is just the beginning.  To be honest, I wanted to show someone, to tell someone who cared about how clumsy I was chopping vegetables. 

Of course, I have friends.  But it's different if there's a lover in the house.  A man in the house.

After breakfast, I sat down on the couch and looked at the aquarium.  The three goldfishes are swimming happily (I imagine), with eyes looking like they're filled with seeing.  The angelfish seems lonely being the only fish of its kind there.  The carps are wiggling their bodies and opening and closing their mouths.

Do they care that they're there in the aquarium?  Do they mind that they're kind of caught and have no freedom?  But they beautify the living room.  They are cared for.

Every morning, I go to look at the fishes feeling so happy that they're there. 

Sometimes we look at each other (I imagine) and smile.  Do fishes smile?  Maybe they talk in some otherworldly voice we can't hear.  Something like sonar.

Maybe they shout.  Maybe they cry when they're happy.  And laugh when they're sad.

I just feel sad that they're alone in there.  I want to hug them if I could.

Someone rang me today.  A friend of a friend.  We talked for fifteen minutes.

I don't know.  But I'm used to it.  Used to being alone.  I don't want the water suddenly barging in, drowning me in my own home.   

How readily I keep to myself and breathe.