May 17, 2008
By Kamryn Harmeling, Newtown, CT

It was twelve at night and I could still hear him in the kitchen. He had been quiet for a while, but now he's back to punding the table in frustration. Following each whack at the oak was the soft pattering of pieces bouncing up then down again. It wasn't a lullaby, that's for sure, but it had a steady rhythm capable of sneding me into a quiet sleep. And it did. So I slept.

The next morning I woke up surprisingly early. A thick fog had settled over the lawn, covering the bare patches of dirt where the fertilizer never touched. When I piptoed into the kitchen, I saw him there. His eyes red and bloodshot, hands in his ruffled hair, staring blankly at a very unfinished puzzle. Next to him sat the empty box that said: 1,000 PIECES, IMPOSSIBLE TO SOLVE! TEST YOUR BRAIN! My heart would not let me interfere or help him. Instead, I focused my attention on cooking breakfast. We would have eggs on this cold, wet morning.

After the breakfast that I slaved over and he did not eat, he decided to speak to me. "This puzzle is infuriating," he said as if I had no idea.

I stared at him. "Well, no offense or anything, but after last night, I think a chimpanzee could come to that conclusion."
He didn't take it as an insult. He laughed instead. "Whatever."


"I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to do this. I don't know how. JUst don't know how," he said to himself. The puzzle lay in front of him. Untouched and all undone. "THe pieces just don't fit!" He slammed his fist on the table, sending a thousand little puzzle pieces soaring up, up, up... then down.

"HEY," I called to him from the dining room. "I think we need to go find you an easier puzzle."

He let out a deep breath. "No."

"Okay, suit yourself. But if it doesn't want to make you commit suicide, it'll surely make me," I joked.



The dawn cleared up, revealing a hidden sun that melted the fog and murkiness of the morning. I didn't see him for most of the day. He was back at his puzzle. Being puzzled.

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