Center of Center (15)
a serial novella-in-flash by Chris Wiewiora
I park well behind the stop for Towers—the dual brown brick dorms on the southern outskirts of C.U. I don’t switch my destination sign to BLUE because I’m so early before I need to run my extra route through campus. I’ll drop off students to class and clear the way for the regular BLUE that will be a few minutes behind me so it can stay on schedule.
On route, I have to have an atomic watch with a second hand, pen, run sheet, and transfer packet. I need to have a snack, water bottle, Sauvé Salve, and a book. I’ve learned to use the 30 seconds waiting for usual connections and transfers and timepoints to expire. Thirty seconds is a munched handful of peanuts, a swig of water, dab of balm, or skimmed stanza.
These additional minutes behind Towers feel like a dangerous luxury to just sit and think. I try to empty my mind and just appreciate the landscape. I look out at the snowy cross-country field to the west. The sun glares down on two balls of snow rolled into boulders at the base of a tree trunk. At least the students didn’t add sticks for pubes. The tree cock’s snow balls glisten in the melting light as a woman jogs on the cleared asphalt track parallel Field Avenue. Her black tights cling to her bouncing butt.
I think of Vanessa Reed. Vanessa had this great big butt that she acted like she didn’t like. She also had a seemingly perfect sounding last name for being a reader like me, something that made her seem so rare and made me like her more than her butt. I began to see Vanessa when she neared the end of her PhD in Texts and Technology at C.U. I don’t know what to call what we did except seeing each other again and again until we didn’t.
CENTER of CENTER is a serialized novella-in-flash by Chris Wiewiora. Go here to start at the beginning. Paid subscribers have access to every installment of our serial fiction.