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The Whistler

Sommer Browning

Here I am so selfish I only remember my reaction. Each fact loosening falling away like icicles along the eaves. I once saw one so large & the earth so soft that it pierced the ground below it. I once walked through a spider web so vast, I felt its tug as I pulled through it. I once drove 30 miles at night through pitch-black counties without headlights using only my cellphone light to guide me. I once was so high I wrote a paper backwards and since it was for 20th Century Avant-garde Lit got an A. You know second winds? I got a fifth wind once during a swim meet. As the fish grows increasingly long, life accumulates like a US Ironworks slagheap. Once my date dropped me off at the front door and I ran through the house out the back into my boyfriend’s car waiting in the alley. Once I lost control in the middle of northbound 95 and somehow spun across the median, arriving in the shoulder of the southbound lanes, and just kept driving, direction’s pointless. I once bought an $80 cab ride because I couldn’t remember where I was—simultaneously building a bed in a refrigerator box stealing gas from the Racetrack flying to Denver to marry a stranger. I once strangled my boyfriend at 65 mph on the freeway until I started laughing so much my grip loosened. Once I wrote the most erotic sex fantasy I could dream got paranoid that someone would read it, chose a password to protect the document, promptly forgot the password and let that define my sex life for years. I once sang Swing Low in a cop car and felt like a coward. The only secrets are forgotten ones. I once told a man I didn’t want a boyfriend and a week later admitted to him I had gotten married. Who said biography is a story true enough to believe? Who told me they once ate a joint before getting pulled over, but at the last minute the cop car flew past them, worked in a gas station and stole all the money, painted a donkey with zebra stripes, danced on stage with Bootsy Collins, who told me that for one day he was the best whistler on the planet, could whistle any song in the world perfectly, rivaled the skylarks and finches, invented gorgeous sonatas whistling them into the sunset, into the blushing dusk and by morning forgot how to do it?

Copyright © 2012 by Sommer Browning. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2012 by Sommer Browning. Used with permission of the author.

Sommer Browning