Harry Wolff

You can't escape my laugh.

Interesting Jane

Interesting days never got the better of Jane. She was always up for a challenge. Always willing to put her words to action, to prove herself no coward. She was one of those gals that didn't take no for an answer. To Jane there was always a way, impossible just a euphemism for failure. Jane did because if Jane didn't then no one else would.

And that's just the world Jane knew. Growing up she never had any handouts, never enjoyed any handicaps due to her background. To Jane the world was bristled and rough. Harsh and bare because the thought of affection was just a means to defeat, defeat a means toward suffering.

Only once did Jane face the scoundrel failure. It was early in her formative years. She was alone on a walk to the nearby grocer. Her mother had just given her a crisp five to buy as many apples as she could. With delight in her eyes and excitement in her walk Jane set out to conduct the described transaction.

Although Jane now denies it there are those who would testify under oath that Jane not only whistled as she walked but occasionally put a skip to her step. Such joviality hasn't been witnessed since. The slightest thought to its existence gives hope to every other damaged soul. The hope for glee and mirth amidst even the most pained is not without merit, for even those now broke were once whole.

As Jane rounded the corner the markets canopied entrance hovered ahead. Without due consideration for her surroundings Jane set into a sprint, racing against herself to be the first to cross its threshold.

Time stands still when adrenaline runs high. While Jane sprinted she unconsciously dodged parked car-doors opening, fellows strolling aimlessly, lost in their conversations and unconscious of the space they consumed. Jane vaulted over fire-hydrants and tip-toed on the sidewalks edge, balancing between danger in the street and ineptitude on the sidewalk.

Glancing up she saw she was within a dash's pace to the market's door. With determination in her heart and joy in her eyes she put her head down and set into a dead sprint.

With but a foot away from victory Jane's trajectory is harshly reversed as she is set careening backwards, landing square on her tailbone, tears already welling.

The blasé man who had appeared in the doorway at the last conceivable second looked down at Jane with unusual disdain, "Fucking brat. Watch where you're going."

Jane uttered but a whispered apology, "Yes sir. Sorry, sorry, I..i...i.."

"I don't care." He glances down at his buttoned shirt. "I'm just glad you didn't make a stain." And then he was off.

Jane sat still for some time. Tears occasionally welling, anger usually drying them. A few kinder folks passing by dropped themselves into a squat to offer some help but all Jane could do for a reply was to clench her eyes shut and vigorously shake her head from side-to-side. After a while people stopped trying to help and just walked around her.

Jane sat unmoving for an unhealthy amount of time, all the while her mind was racing: making connections, decisions, and beliefs of herself and the world around her that she holds true today.

Thoughts of unbridled rage were targeted to the blasé man, with underlying hopes of punishment through mental effort. She shook as she thought of his misery, causing her head to shake and an acute pain on her forehead.

Then she thought of her mother, the wicked wench she was, to be so tricky as to hurt Jane with a disguised gesture of love. How did she know that man was going to be standing right there at just that time? Did she pay the man to be so mean?

Jane sat and stewed. And then when the sun began to set she calmly lifted herself up and with dead-set eyes returned home.

When her mother heard the front-door slam close she hurried into the room, "Is that you Jane dear? How many apples did you manage to get?"

With a glare that would turn Medusa to stone Jane lifted her gaze, "None."

"Are you alright dear? Why didn't you get any apples?"

"Wasn't hungry."

"Oh. Okay. Would you like some dinner?"

"Sure mom, sure. That'd be great."

Jane jumped up the stairs into her room and set herself on her bed. She sat there, staring out her window at the horizon that would not end or begin. And she thought to herself. And she thought about the horizon. Soon enough she couldn't tell where she began or ended. And then she began to cry.