Ameliorative Measures

You lose the ability to float and you aren’t taking it well, visibly annoyed by having weight, by having to enclose your feet in socks and shoes and press the whole assemblage of cotton and leather upon floors and sidewalks over and over.

So I take you to places where you’ll enjoy walking: the dunes, the creek, the park. After a few days of loose sand giving under your soles, water flowing between your toes and grass grazing your ankles, your mood improves. Good thing it’s summertime.

When the skies turn overcast during our afternoon at the beach, we make a fire with driftwood and dry our feet and legs with its vigorous heat.

While watching the flames, you say, “I wish I could tell you the secrets of the universe.”

“Tell me one of your secrets instead,” I reply.

You think for a moment, then answer, “Once, I rubbed extra meat tenderizer on some steak my mom was marinating for dinner. I was hoping it would soften my parents’ hearts.”

“Why? Were they really strict?”

“No, I just really wanted a new bicycle.”

“How did that steak turn out?”

“Each bite practically melted in my mouth. I still make steak that way.”

“So this the secret behind a secret recipe of yours?”

“If you ever lapse in your vegetarianism, I’ll make you a steak. Then you can tell me if it’s a secret worth keeping.”

I grin at your offer. Something to look forward to, even if it lies in some possible future that will never come to pass.

SORAMIMI HANAREJIMA is fascinated by the roles that the literary arts can play in metacognition and is the author of Visits to the Confabulatorium, a fanciful story collection that Jack Cheng said, “captures moonlight in Ziploc bags.” Soramimi’s recent work can be found in [PANK], Firewords, Typehouse and Tahoma Literary Review.