I accepted a summer job offer.
I consumed much cheese.
I cut in bangs again (scissor-happy got carried away).
I created a new tumblr.
Blame it on the snow day.
This is the story of the boy writer Malzhuri who is trapped in the body of a man, one older than I am, than you are. Malzhuri lives in a sparsely furnished apartment in a not-so-sparsely populated city. Stacks seven to nine books high line the grey-white walls, not for dislike of shelves but for peculiar reasons only Malzhuri and his bathroom mirror know.
Malzhuri writes. Malzhuri sings. Malzhuri rides his bike between city parks to meditate on the relationship between the homeless people on the curb and the mish mash of characters looking out from moving windows, all day, hour after hour. Each side eyes the other: each side sees only expressionless faces, no names.
On days it is too cold for bikes, Malzhuri stays home and inventories his collection of books, wooden toys, musical instruments, and the robotic space-age art that looks straight out of a coloring book I had in 5th grade.
Malzhuri also collects masks. Some are amusing, like the fuzzy pink bunny rabbit with the left ear bent forward as if pointing at the onlooker. Some are disturbing, almost frightening, like the teeth-baring gorilla and the one of the P.O.T.U.S. Of course, there is also the bear mask that came with two pairs of plastic frames—one black, the other blue. Bears have a hard time seeing, you know. And so does Malzhuri, it seems, for when he looks in the mirror, he is never afraid of what he’ll find there.
This is the story of a young elephant named Malzhuri that, quite spontaneously, leaves the dusty African plains to be an explorer of the world. Malzhuri swims across the Atlantic for forty-seven days until she reaches a barrier island off the Carolina coast. She is welcomed by wadding birds and tree branches strewn along the coastline, partly buried in the sand like animal carcasses. The branches might have waved had they retained their foliage.
They say elephants never forget, but whether or not that is true doesn’t matter. Malzhuri does in fact forget—and often. So often that she devised a way to remember important things that involves sitting quietly and counting out prime numbers (how she remembers the method itself is a mystery).
So there, young Malzhuri, in a surprisingly calm manner, finds a spot in the sand to rest and to try to remember why she started swimming. She matches each prime number to a memory, starting with 1, then 2, 3, 5, and so on. She thinks of many details her young eyes witnessed and stored away before her departure: the peeling bark of trees, the moon as a giant drum, those tiny ants always traveling in numbers. But despite her very best efforts, she still cannot remember.
If you—likely a curious and adventurous soul—ventured to the same coastline, you will find Malzhuri still resting there, the elephant body hunched over and still as a rock, blending with the dunes. Prime number, prime number, prime number. But adventurous as you are, beware! Lest you forget your purpose as Malzhuri did! Lest you remain among these dunes to watch the sun rise again and again from exactly the same place but never in the same way until your body, too, becomes the sand itself and your hair the marram grass. The end.