ben vandgrift · on living the dream

opening lines

mark mccastlin couldn't remember the first time he fell down the stairs. on any of the dozens of occasions he'd taken flight over a set of risers he'd been more concerned with catching the railing or curling into a ball than committing the time and date to memory. the litany of sprained wrists and twisted ankles on display in his medical history gave testimony to the frequency of his 'accidents'.

but that's not what they were. not accidents.

mark had never learned to ride a bike. he'd always tumble from the seat, or steer into something hard and unforgiving. not every time, but often enough to count on. god himself couldn't get him on a set of skis. mark knew better - they waited. they bided their time for when he was most vulnerable, when they could cause him the most pain.

whenever he forgot this, he ended up at the bottom of a long flight of stairs, with many sets of eyes gazing scornfully down at the tangle of his books and his body. like now.

written: May 2 2005