You’re Not so Fragile


Thinking about telling Clarice about every person who has ever died from causation and natural selection. In the end it’s not so many because chalking most of them up is easy, like telling time with a digital wristpiece (takes only dim, temperate, scare quotes). This is how the thing shivers: 

Clarice fought hard for a reminder, though, with her simpering grip on “I’m so fragile. I’ll nearly die each time. Each time nearly and one time finally and then that last time a collection of every first time, all just but lovingly.”

The deep truth is that you can ever more be absolutely correct but also so painfully incorrect that you’ll wither into sunbursts.

It’s a three drug cocktail that the state typically uses to wilt its own subjects under uncooperative chemical moonlight. It’s a complicated process, calculating how much of what will conspire to kill a body, render it pimpled and popped off the surface of the earth. It’s all very complicated and easily ruined. This is the penalty.

Too much of this, too little of that, Clarice, and you’re in a cul-de-sac, a scrape on the forehead of remembering, quite enough to bury a tattooed Goldilocks under failed resume submissions until the end of days. And inside of all of this, the doctors, they won’t help you, them so busy off doing no harm in their great space cadet cafeteria, hurrying down hallways packed with gleam. 

“I’m absolutely fragile,” she shivered. “My skin cracks and aches and I wake up early every weekend, hopping and horrible. I chug liquor for the simplest swish.”

The state knows how many failures it took to brook the success rates. Only then did positive percentages glint into newsprint. The state’s got spreadsheets, racks and stacks of them. Hard drives packed in RAID array, downloading the web every second, siphoning mentions of news alerts into a tremendous terrible bucket, factoring functions out to squares and cubes of data sets. Sluiced.

Build an inbox out of paper trails, pointing outward. 

Ending a life is like cracking an egg. One tap too errant and yolk and everything after is counterbound.

Ending a life is like cracking an egg, hardboiled. The shell peels piecemeal. 

She was absolutely, herself, perpetually counterbound egg yolk with shifting, drifting yellow. Spectral.

I went on a run the other day and I listened to a podcast about the death penalty. I learned how hard it is to kill an inmate correctly and how two of the three drugs in the typical cocktail are in there just to make it look a little less gruesome. It was windy and I felt whipped, like fabric on the wind, until an old man talking about five men aiming at some criminal heart caught me, the fabric, on the trunk of a tree and I’ve been rustling there ever since.

You’re not so fragile, Clarice. You’re not so fragile, Kauffman. You’re not so fragile, any of you.

Please break as soon as you can. It’s easy. Ask me for help and then break.


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