MY CHUTE

I tried to write a story that would be an actual passageway, something I could push everything through. I wrote “My Chute.” And I couldn’t fit everything into it. I guess it’s sort of about limits.

It’s in issue 23 of LIT. Here’s the beginning:

I would go with my family to the museums and the restaurants, trying to find what I was supposed to love. The nudes were lovely, and I could see how a slab of marble retained the shape of a man, but I would just think how great it would be to have my own chute, a longish tube to push things through—anything, great or trash, it wouldn’t matter to me, I would push it all through my chute. It would be easy; my chute would be dark inside at all times of day or night, too dark to see into, so its reality would be mysterious to me—except that I had created it, and knowing this would give me the greatest pleasure because it would be such a relief to look at a thing I had created, which would not have existed if it weren’t for me, and to see it only partially. It would make me feel mysterious to me. Then I could relax with my family.

But the inside of my chute is not entirely dark. I am not entirely unable to see that my chute now has teeth, though I never intended it to. I had imagined a sleek, nearly frictionless tube accepting of all I pushed through it. I had foreseen the easy slippage of things out of this world, and the spaces, wide and small gaps, that would appear like cats where things had once been, sometimes curling up and warming them.