Can You Feel the Knife?


“You look good. I'm going to ask you to come in once a year for a physical from now on, though.”

“Sure, doc. Anything else?”

“I'm recommending that all my patients in your age group take supplemental fish oil.”


While sitting at the computer, chewing his first Omega-3 Fish Oil Complex tablet and reading Ftrain, a hard little rock materializes in his mouth. Clatter! Clatter! It bangs against his teeth, loud and painful.

He spits it into his hand: a molar fused to the gel cap. A few minutes spent in communion with the bathroom mirror explains everything — a foul black stump in the back of his mouth, an old forgotten crown pulled loose by the sticky capsule. Holding the crown up to the light he finds, hidden within it, a note written in magic ink that only he can see:

The hound we set on your trail when you were born is gaining by the day.

He pours himself a glass of Jameson, sits back down in front of the computer, and pulls up the video for Grizzly Bear’s The Knife on YouTube:

He wonders, watching the video, whether life is more like the creepy meat grinder or the impassable stone vagina. When the video is finished he pours another glass of uisce beatha and starts it again.

This entry is part of my journal, published January 5, 2009, in New York.