This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: es, the sky was now a devastating, home-cooked red. The small German town had been flung apart one more
time. Snowflakes of ash fell so lovelily you were tempted to stretch out your tongue to catch them, taste them.
Only, they would have scorched your lips. They would have cooked your mouth.
Clearly, I see it.
I was just about to leave when I found her kneeling there.
A mountain range of rubble was written, designed, erected around her. She was clutching at a book.
Apart from everything else, the book thief wanted desperately to go back to the basement, to write, or to read
through her story one last time. In hindsight, I see it so obviously on her face. She was dying for it— the safety
of it, the home of it—but she could not move. Also, the basement didn’t even exist anymore. It was part of the
Please, again, I ask you to believe me. I wanted to stop. To crouch down.
I wanted to say:
“I’m sorry, child.”
But that is not allowed.
I did not crouch down. I did not speak.
Instead, I watched her awhile. When she was able to move, I followed her.
She dropped the book.
The book thief howled.
Her book was stepped on several times as the cleanup began, and although orders were given only to clear the
mess of concrete, the girl’s most precious item was thrown aboard a garbage truck, at which point I was
compelled. I climbed aboard and took it in my hand, not realizing that I would keep it and view it several
thousand times over the years. I would watch the places where we intersect, and marvel at what the girl saw and
how she survived. That is the best I can do— watch it fall into line with everything else I spectated during that
When I recollect her, I see a long list of colors, but it’s the three in which I saw her in the flesh that resonate the
most. Sometimes I manage to float far above those three moments. I hang suspended, until a septic truth bleeds
That’s when I see them formulate.
THE COLORS RED: W...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13