Dustin came into the ER a little after one with a fishing lure lodged in the pad between his thumb and pointer finger. The lure was as green as a ripening lime, its barb visible beneath the skin, and the area around it was a flushed purple. Most striking was the slim fish, its scales as iridescent as an oil slick, color slipping off in faint slats. It stared, barely alive.
Paul had seen such cases frequently since the summer began, and the incidents that included live fish saddened him a little. But this day he didn dwell on this for more than an initial moment of recognition.
Dustin, he said. trouble? trouble is right, Dustin said. pint sized fish shouldn have even been kept. It too bad. don worry, we tease this out, Paul said, and pulled out a metal clipper and thin rod. It had been a quiet day, as most days were. One girl with a minor burn, a boy needing stitches along the arm. These incidents made him feel grateful to be useful, and he enjoyed his own sharp concentration as he worked. In the end, a black line had run like train tracks along the boy forearm, and he had rinsed this pathway gently, until the angry skin around it had softened to pink.
it a single, or cheap canada goose multiple barbed hook? me tell you a little about how we going to do this, he told Dustin. going to push the hook deeper into your hand, so it makes an arc and comes out of the skin and makes a second hole. Then I going to cut off the end. Once I done that, I be able to push the hook back through that arc without catching the skin. He began to reach for metal cutters, gloves. you have any questions? leaned back in his chair. won need stitches, will I? shook his head. He pulled on the gloves, felt their powder line the spaces between his fingers. should be fine. He took another quick survey of Dustin hand, before setting it down on a metal stand to rest. going to ask you to keep your hand here while I get this out. He pushed his glasses up on his nose. Best to keep his eyes well covered.
been awhile, Dustin said. a few months? Paul had been a close friend of Dustin older brother, though the two lost touch entirely after Paul left for college and then medical school, preferring to spend his summers in Madison. It was the biggest city he had ever lived in, bigger than Appleton where they had grown up, where he had envied the crisp new adulthood of the college students there. The thrill of walking amidst a rush of strangers, of sipping beer at the union alone while watching boats strung across the lake like a laundry line, was topped only by Helena when he met her his junior year. At night, when they walked together, the Capital glowed, its ribbed dome always visible.
Of the two of them, she had been more excited for his residency near Wausau, for the job she would be able to accept at an environmental non profit. He had no friends, and little interest in making them; his marriage new and like a secret, something that required, each day, experimental efforts. A few months earlier, he had run into Dustin at an Italian restaurant, barely recognizing him. They shook hands, they let their palms find their pockets quickly. Funny running into you! How ya been? They have to catch up some night. Dustin came to dinner once, and they mentioned grabbing a beer. canada goose outlet online uk They hadn spoken since.
he said, and turned to retrieve gauze and antiseptic from a drawer. Neither mentioned his wife recent, accidental death, canada goose factory outlet although his body read like a periodical pale, dry voice like rustled paper, an unbleached lab coat. He daubed iodine on Dustin hand, left an orange triangle. The color of the cut pressed underneath.
The first time Paul saw Helena, she was in a official canada goose outlet photograph at a student art show. She was tall and in black and white, wearing a dark sunhat and leaning against a long, crooked stick. The desert spread flat around her, mountains behind like a loaf of bread. Portrait, read the label beside it. He met her later in the evening, and learned that she was from the Southwest, and knew what it was like to not feel your own sweat in the dry summers. She had come north for glacial lakes canada goose outlet store and forests, and days later they biked to the beach at Lake Wingra, where he watched her rush into the water, disappear and emerge, hair grainy and slick as freshly varnished wood. naps over books of microbiology or early morning runs before heading to the dark room. These schedules were more than the interests they carried with them. They were ways of recognizing one another and the times and locations that were theirs exclusively. In the new house, and in Woodruff, they moved gingerly and more quietly than usual. Some mornings, when he woke up early and saw her at the lakefront fully dressed, studying the water, or carrying the compost to the wooded area across the road, he did not recognize canada goose clearance sale her posture, or her movements. He did not consider that these things were to be learned gradually, but instead worried at the extent of her which was, had to be, impenetrable.
I don know if I even have any kind of soothing presence, he said, leaning back in his chair. can a doctor reassure his patients if he isn reassured himself? good is a doctor who never considers these things? she asked. He tipped his head towards his shoulder and frowned. He felt as though his days were like agar plates thick, congealed, in incubation for some invisible change. He attended lectures and studied dutifully, examining each canada goose glass blood smear, the cells emerging silently, but with as much impression as a firework as they came into focus with magnification. Under the electron microscope, he memorized the look of geometric viruses. He collected violet, graham stained slides, and studied the pelleted bacteria they revealed. At night, he brought her pictures of magnified bone: delicate, branched honeycomb. She began to give him objects to study: tortoise shell hair clips, her grandmother silver ring, a letter from a friend canada goose outlet toronto factory at camp she saved without even meaning to, moving it from box to box so it somehow survived several moves. With the microscope these domestic items became streaked and glowing, like city lights seen from a moving car at night. He brought them home and they studied them at the dinner table, pointing at the details they admired.
She taught him about the geology and environmental studies courses she took, and they sometimes rose early Saturday mornings to drive to the kettle moraine and walk the scruffy backs of eskers, study mounds and dips left by the glaciers. She picked up rocks and tested their weight in her palm, explaining that they had been carried across the continent, caught canada goose outlet reviews up in ice. What sound had the glacier made? She studied the patterns of the lakes they left, and tacked satellite photos of the northwoods to the wall beside her desk. She read about Lake Baikal in Siberia, and found photographs of the strange juts and crooks of the glassy ice, yellow with sun, and cactus like growths in the cold water.
you imagine swimming under the ice to take this? she asked, and he felt the glacial pull he did those days, the uncertain shifts of imagination and quiet. don know if I should be a doctor. later she cut her finger, a deep slip of the canada goose outlet online knife as she worked at a carrot. She held her wrist upright, and she looked at him.
she said, and inhaled fully. She didn cry, but rinsed her hand in the sink, where the depth of the cut became apparent. He moved to get his things.
use some antiseptic, he said, little iodine. A muscle near her mouth twitched and she watched. The iodine spread like an egg yoke. There was the smell of ocean.
When he first saw her drive stick shift she seemed excessively talented. Her self built https://www.dvu-nds.de bicycle; as canada goose store well as her knowledge of how to leap (perpendicularly) from moving trains and other movie stunts (while she had admittedly never performed them); suggested an architecture of her life that he could only imagine over time.
But in marriage he found that the same cynicism that provided an observatory pane between him and others could apply to her, and he doubted the authenticity of her more enthusiastic exclamations. What were the true intentions of her misplaced cheap canada goose items, her goose outlet canada misused words? Her confidence came to appear less sturdy, and in this way made her seem evasive, tender, and intensely private. Her most unfiltered and unconfused reactions were like sand carried in the toe of a boot over a long walk, to be emptied at the door and left outside.
He began to keep a journal, concerned that he might run out of things to tell her, and worried that he seemed equally canada goose uk outlet uninteresting or suspect to judgments. He regularly noted news stories, or medical cases from the international community, beautiful images he saw. Daguerreotypes carried in a patient wallet, the faces of her grandparents pearled on the old film, the tin freckled with gnat like discolorations. A felt hat with a navy band around its waist and a funereal smell. A deer nest, a shallow, kidney shaped impression beneath the pines.
guess way back when the dictionary had only rare words, or made up words, because they assumed people knew all of the commonly used ones, he told her.
many people couldn read, she said, and halved a blank sheet of paper with an exacto knife. He was quiet, and imagined the differences between his written and spoken life, its changed limits.
Even after she had died, he continued to add to this journal. When running into an old classmate in town, he would recall these items, unsure of what else he would say to people. Aside from diagnoses and easy questions about the tides of hunting seasons and snow tires, he said little to people, and they said little to him. Driving home from isolated drinks at the bars with old acquaintances, he turned on the radio and waited for the next entry, proof that he was still interested, still interesting.
The rumor reached him late. At that point, there was little he could do about it, and instead it sat in his passenger seat as he drove to and from work, at the dinner table, on the canada goose factory sale sofa before he went to sleep. When he dreamed, he saw the photos she had started to work on, the thick needles of forest forming black capillary beds on the white paper. The untouched spaces gave way to wood, then gauze, a mosquito net, a bee suit. His house was a hive, its levels drawers, and bees squirmed through the screens and tumbled into the dusk. Or was it merely smoky? The bees twisted without destination, remaining in one spot, a lake of many currents.
Tim was barking when Dustin arrived home, and once his increasingly vacant bark, the result of a recently paralyzed vocal chord, had stopped, Dustin could hear that the phone canada goose uk shop was ringing. He tried to push past Tim, fur still feathered from their morning in the boat, bud didn reach the phone in time. He stopped, leaning against the wooden window buy canada goose jacket cheap frame and watching the long grasses along the ravine. No message.
He looked at the clock. 1:34. He could finish delivering the tables by five. tables I taking to a store in canada goose outlet uk Merrill, Dustin said to no one, not expecting to do so. a dresser. He had taken to talking to himself around the house, a habit that initially worried him. Was he crazy? Was it odd to imagine whole conversations with people who weren there? But his recognition of his solitude relieved him, and he soon settled into the habit without much reservation.
He was sometimes tempted to call his brother Morgan but always refrained. Morgan hadn called in almost a year, and every time he considered dialing the number he blushed in both self consciousness and pride. Instead he went to the woodshed and put on a pair of old safety goggles he had stolen from his high school chemistry teacher many years before, when he was just learning about working with wood. He hunted for the pieces of a project, some flat boards with measurements and abstracted contours marked in pencil. He turned on the jigsaw.
A few places downtown trafficked in pieces that were garishly unfinished, antlered in knobby branches, polished into long hooks, or unvarnished, rustic boxes. They would be purchased for summer homes and resorts, filled with warm weather shorts and blouses and covered with sheets after Labor Day. A few curved edges, dark stain and knotted wood, and it would be sold within months. The majority of things he made rectangular, plain, simply varnished as they were sat in his shed before being purchased a few at a time by smaller stores an hour or so south. They were pieces that would serve Utilitarian roles in family living rooms, would shoulder the weight of dogs and visiting grandparents, would withstand spilled marinara sauce, the late afternoon yellow of curry, the optimistic flush of beets. He wasn fussy, why would his furniture be? He would curve over the jigsaw, the limbs of his work issuing uniformly, and simply, to be cut shorter into legs and flatter in slats, panels for cupboards, headboards, benches. Blanched to the color of wax beans, and sanded to be soft. There was no need to create something of ambiguous age, anything that attempted to evoke something it wasn To rob old objects of their due reactions.
When Morgan competed in the all state gymnastic championships, Dustin parents went for the long weekend but he did not. He watched his father bookshop for the two weeks, learning how it could be so that a man surrounded by books all day would read canada goose outlet store uk so selectively, rarely finishing a book. He fed the barcodes to the scanner while reading the periodicals from Madison that arrived before the store even opened, calling for news from the competition before it was shown on public TV.
Morgan was not as compelling an athlete as other contestants. He lacked remarkable poise, a signature ballet like gesture, or an especially performative way of delivering each routine. Still, he had begun technically solid. He was good, and he understood what the sport offered him, as he called home to tell Paul about the kids he had met from all over the state, kids who had grown up on milk farms and in the driftless region along the Mississippi. On the TV, he filed in toward the middle of the group, wearing a wind suit as wrinkled and light as the surface of a lake, and performed precisely, without the zeal of a champion, or even someone who aspires to be one. Within canada goose coats on sale the year, he would leave for a Denver facility to train for the Olympics, calling home once a week. He went to Nationals twice, but never the Olympics, and well before he finished high school descriptions of the mountains, public transportation, museums, and nightlife eclipsed discussion about gymnastics. He followed write ups in alternative weeklies and monthly magazines, especially those accompanied by small photos of architecturally precise deserts, unidentifiable orange sauces dripped onto meats and pilafs. He clipped them out and mailed them to Dustin, along with pamphlets from gallery exhibitions. As he neared eighteen, he talked about college recruitment though he continued to train tirelessly.
He came home only a few times after that, preferring to spend many holidays with friends in other places, arranging a job in Austin coaching once he graduated. In the weeks back, he drove to the gym and back daily, picking up Dustin after school. canada goose outlet uk sale When Dustin called him from the workshop after an hour of experimenting with cuts of woods, the different hides stains create, he would ask, soon? Morgan dedication to work, the demands of the body to be continually worked, stretched, mashed, and bent kept Dustin from relating to his ethic, and kept him defensive about his own work habits.
Later, whenever he thought of his brother, he saw him as he had from the bookstore on the little TV mounted above the counter. He was granulated, alive with his small components, holding his legs into a flat plank. His arms quivered, each muscle isolated and apparent, the crowd present and curtain like, quiet and waiting, almost transparent.