April 11, 2008
By Jade Kedrick, Santa Monica, CA

Someone could make a lot of money if they could tell me why we still think Alice doesn’t exist.
The raindrops tripped about, frayed, like the edges of her coat. The threads pulled at his memory like a dog to a leash, as she walked by without a glance. Maybe they’re right. Maybe she doesn’t exist. Maybe all the time we spent together was just a figment of my imagination. Maybe. But the man who runs his life around maybes will probably die sad and confused, so, for now, I will dismiss it as a yes.
Within moments the raindrops riveted my mind, the rivets created canyons, the canyons pulverized to merely a dusty reminiscence of what they once were. The lights shouted distractions from every known angle, but a stare full of purpose never looses sight of what it follows. My eyes traced the outline of a charcoal black stiletto, and then she was gone. Alice. My Alice. She does exist. And that’s by no means all she does. She can also poison my heart with potent words masked in passion, then leave me in a diner hopelessly looking for the path to freedom in the outline of the receding stiletto. However, this story isn’t about Alice. This story is about the man left behind in the wake of her wonder.
It all began with a grand piano, a little boy, and a look that could flip the world like a pancake in a fryer. It sat at the top of the stairs, God in the homely presence of a little boy’s overalls and sticky fingers. Five more minutes. Five more minutes and the workers will come in to bring it downstairs. Five more minutes and the sleek black whale will be brought down to me as Jesus from the heavens. Five more minutes until I could run my stubby hot finger across its smooth elegant appearance, only hoping that its elegant residue will then belong to just the tip of that grubby little finger that it encountered. Five more minutes and it will be mine. No little boy could wait five minutes under this sort of pressure. If the grand piano would not come to me, I would have to go to it. This thought process was the beginning of the end.
All holiness, the only object that had ever exuded such a command for reverence from the disobedient mind of a child, was possessed in its being. Its essence, so paramount, that even for the sinful beings that were humans to brush against it could be an act of treason. I braced myself for the expedition of a lifetime. Every step closer magnified the overwhelming aura of perfection that no other earthly substance could claim. The Essence of Life Itself. The Great Zeus. The Grand Piano.
Finally, after what seemed like years of Odysseus’s torturous journey for freedom, it stood arms length from my bubble gum pink cheeks. There was no time to loose. I extended my index finger. It had begun. For a spilt second, I saw it for it what it truly was, a wavering quasi-spirit with the ability to transform the sharpest distinctives of black and white into grey, but only in that split second when it flew. It danced. It sang. It cried. In that moment, it was free to fly without the gravitational restraints that only someone too jealous of its elegance would have cursed it with. All this only made the fall that much harder. My blind conceited fingers had pushed too hard at the piano. I was only a pawn as it went whizzing down the stairs to destruction. It is hard to speak of. All I can say is picture a paradise stabbed in the heart, then eaten alive by your own ignorance.
This was the turning point. This was where life’s overwhelming destruction became real. This allowed me to cope with her leaving. The grand piano had prepared me for this very moment. It had given me the ability to shine in the face of such disaster. As the previous sequence ran through my mind, I attempted to stand up. I stumbled over the leg of my chair, but I never fell. Her words resonated in my mind. Our memories, so bliss that I understand why her reality was doubted, yet I understood these fain attempts to make me forget her. I slowly drifted back to complete awareness of my surroundings. The sun reflected the worn Rolex that I attempted to use to mask my real age. The shine of the watch played tricks off the wrinkles that enveloped an old man’s hand. Her existence has been so long ago that her reality had become blurred in my mind. I had come back to this diner once a year for the past thirty-seven years, and only now was I able to get over Alice.

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