The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – David Wroblewski


They sat there for hours and hours, and it was the finest time so far in his life. On those nights, he felt connected to something ancient and important that he couldn’t name.

And all infants need the same simple things, pup or child, squalling or mute. They clung to that certainty: for a while, at least, it didn’t matter what in him was special and what ordinary. He was alive. What mattered was that he opened his eyes every single morning. Compared to that, silence was nothing.

Now time thickened like wet cement.

Almondine poked her nose into the apparition of her own breath while Edgar watched a snowflake dossolve in misair, one and then another.

Her touch had released some tiny increment of the poison bound up in him that would, days to come, ripen into sorrow.

His recollection was vivid enough to make his insides tremble, but there were gaps, too.

Life was a swarm of accidents waiting in the treetops, descending upon any living thing that passed, ready to eat them alive. You swam in a river of chance and coincidence.

Essay circled and circled, solving again the everlasting riddle of lying down to sleep.

It was one thing to live in a world where death stood a distant figure, quite another to hold it in your hands, and Trudy had held it now twice within a month.


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