White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
WHITE WHALE REVIEW
Isabelle George Rosett
Isabelle George Rosett is fifteen years old and attends the Waterford School in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is her first publication. She survives on Robert Frost poems and Starbucks.
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701 Reasons my story matters

Isabelle George Rosett

 

Enough! Enough! It is enough for me

To dream of thee!

– John Keats

 

I. My daughter's eyes are bright blue. They remind me of her mother, who is dead.

II. The world currently has a population of roughly 7.3 billion people.

Out of that

A small number is very lucky

A small number is very pretty

A small number is very smart

A large number can laugh and doesn't.

III. My daughter hid behind the furnace every night after I thought she had gone to bed. When I found her there crying, I gave her a box of tissues and sat next to her in silence.

IV. Sometimes, I forget-

V. Honestly?

It's as important as anything else out there.

VI. (In the drafts of my phone there is a message reading, “She dreams in pixels”)


VII. And that is what scares me. The forgetting.

But no, not the forgetting. The waiting.

VIII. I am left-handed.

IX. Goodnight, moon, she would read to our daughter, tucking her in at night.

Goodnight kittens

And goodnight mittens.

Goodnight clocks

And goodnight socks.

Goodnight little house

And goodnight mouse.

X. When I was nineteen, my dream was to own a car with functioning brakes and working A/C. Instead I owned a bike frame.

XI. She hummed Disney songs in the shower.

XII. When I went to the Oregon coast for the first time, I stood barefoot on the beach for thirty-seven minutes before deciding that I wanted to be cremated and have my family keep the urn on the piano. They could decorate it with tinsel for the holidays.

XIII. Alone at night, my thoughts jump like crickets. I want to hold them tightly, the sharp edges cutting into my fingers. But instead I have only a red coffee mug, a lone toothbrush, the softness of my daughter's features in sleep as I pull up her blanket and turn out the light.


 

XIV. “That's grandpa,” they'll say, pointing at the piano. I want to give them something to hold on to.

XV. My favorite Led Zeppelin album growing up was Vol. I. Not Vol. IV, despite it containing that epitome of rock songs that shook the world of music, “Stairway to Heaven.” I preferred their first album with its small imperfections and gritty guitar and bluesy ballad lyrics.

Good times, bad times, y'know I've had my share...I sang under my breath on buses.

I'm gonna leave ya, leave ya when the summer comes aaaaaroouuuund! I would croon quietly as I stood in line at coffee shops and cheap bistros.

XVI. My daughter turned cartwheels in the wet, hard-packed sand up and down the water line as I stood there. Her tears ran into her hair when she was upside down.

XVII. We were madly in love. The taste of burnt cherries was always on my tongue, reminding me of my joy.

I taste nothing now.

XVIII. In the room women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo

Her mother was so proud of our daughter's first sentence that she called me in the middle of a board meeting.

All I heard was T.S. Eliot's name repeated excitedly, over and over, followed by an excited squeak and the dial tone. She had accidentally dropped the phone onto the tiled floor, and the battery had fallen out.

I thought about Catch-22.

XIX. In China it is illegal to have more than one child. This is an attempt to cut down on


 

overcrowding. Since boys are considered more valuable than girls, couples are aborting female fetuses. The ratio of girls to boys is 5:6 – a seemingly small difference.

But it affects every part of their lives, sometimes without even being noticed.

XX. When I was 25, my dream was to marry the girl I loved. I had to propose seven times.

XXI. What skills do you feel you have learned in previous jobs, specifically skills that would be useful in the field of investment banking?

Why would you recommend yourself for this position?

How would you describe your attitude towards others? Do you interact well with a group?

I wonder if interviewers would learn more by just asking the favorite sugar-cereal of their prospective employee.

XXII. Rolled Oats – no

Cinnamon Toast Crunch – yes.

XXIII. How old would Calvin be by now?

Hobbes has probably been donated to charity, or put in a box somewhere in the attic. Dust coats his fake fur.

Does Calvin have kids, a mortgage, a receding hairline?

XXIV. When I was 30, my dream was a house with nice bathrooms. My wife's dream wasn't. She won. We moved to New York City.

XXV. Sometimes I think Chekhov might have just about nailed it:

“Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.”

I have grown tired of the gray world and the brightly colored people. Her purple shirt, crumpled in the bottom of the hamper, is painful beyond measure.

I have confused weariness with pain. I no longer know which is which.


 

XXVI. People will never learn how to avoid the pain of loss. We trick ourselves into believing that death is not a reality. We fall in love and it is immortal.

And afterwards, after we realize that they are gone forever, we pretend that we get over it, over the loss and the emptiness and the no-longer-there-ness. and that we forget.

There is no forgetting. No moving on. Time doesn't heal all wounds. We use time to nurture our hopes, the hopes we never even know we have. The hopes that they will return to us someday.

And then there is nothing, nothing beyond death to mark the life, except for this hope that is without logic, this hope that will never, ever be fulfilled, that shouldn't even exist.

We always keep hoping. And we will always be beautifully, madly stupid.

XXVII. We were in Oregon for the funeral. We were at the beach to scatter the ashes.

XXVIII. My daughter's eyes are bright blue. They remind me of my wife, who is dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright© Isabelle George Rosett. White Whale Review, issue 3.1


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