hobart logo

December 1, 2009 | Fiction

Graham Will Fall and Hit His Head

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz

Graham Will Fall and Hit His Head photo

Graham needs to be an interesting character. Graham is a doctor. Graham is a brain surgeon. Graham is a brain surgeon who worries that one day he will be alone in his apartment, nuking leftovers, and he will have a seizure and fall and hit his head on the kitchen counter. Graham will fall and hit his head on the kitchen counter.

*

Graham used to be a brain surgeon. Graham lived in a nice apartment. Graham lived in a four-bedroom apartment, near a little market. Graham lived with his girlfriend in a beautiful new condominium, just across the street from a waterfront market, and on Saturday mornings they would wake early and make love and get to the market before the tourists, and they would drink coffee, and buy fresh fish for dinner, and the men would throw fish to one another and Graham would have a seizure.

*

Graham has a small apartment, and keys to a small apartment, and pots and pans and a new toaster oven. Graham has a bird. Graham eats in front of the television. Graham and the bird eat in front of the television. Graham is crying and eating Cheerios in front of the television on a Saturday morning when the bird begins talking. The bird begins talking. The bird says, "For only nineteen ninety-nine."

*

The bird says, "Down four tenths of a point today." The bird says, "U. S. Presidents for two hundred." The bird says, "Graham will fall and hit his head on the kitchen counter." The bird says, "Help, Stephen Graham hit his head on the kitchen counter." The bird says, "Help, Steve Graham hit his head." The bird says, "Help."

*

Graham sits on the couch and cries. The bird says, "Help." Graham sits on the couch and watches cartoons. The bird says, "Help." Graham calls his mother and tells her he went to Bingo and talked all night with an elderly man named Harold who served in Korea as a flamethrower operator. The bird says, "Help, Steve Graham hit his head." Graham tells the bird that he can't hear his mother.

*

Graham meets a nice girl at Bingo. Graham is very nervous. Graham cooks all day and combs his hair and forgets to call his mother. The bird says, "Graham will fall and hit his head on the kitchen counter." Graham puts a cloth over the bird's cage. Graham tells a joke during dinner and the girl laughs. Graham says he is sorry about the mess. Graham says he used to be a brain surgeon but began having seizures. Graham cooks and combs his hair and visits his mother and fills out applications and tells a joke during dinner. The bird says, "Help."

*

The bird says, "Help." The bird says, "Help." The bird watches Graham open the cage door and says, "Help." The bird watches Graham brush his teeth over the kitchen sink and says, "Help." The bird hops across the counter and stops at the pepper shaker and says, "Help." The bird watches Graham and his girlfriend kiss, and says, "Help," and Graham and his girlfriend watch the bird flutter over to the windowsill, and then Graham turns off the light in the living room and goes to sleep.

*

The bird flutters over to a bush and says, "Help." The bird lands on a peg at the mouth of a hummingbird feeder and says, "Help." The bird sits on a park bench and says, "Help, Graham hit his head." The bird sits on a park bench and watches one man hitting another man over the head with a brick and says, "Help, Graham hit his head." The bird sits on a park bench and watches while two policemen arrest an escaped convict, while a young paramedic saves a man's life. The bird saves a man's life. The bird is interviewed by a reporter. The bird says, "Graham will fall and hit his head on the kitchen counter."

*

The bird is deputized in front of City Hall and says, "Help." The bird wears a blue uniform and flies around saying, "Help." The bird says, "Help." The bird says, "Help." A man sweeps the sidewalk in front of his store and the bird says, "Help." A woman pushes a stroller and talks on her cell phone and the bird says, "Help." A man turns his television on after work and sees a reporter interviewing a bird. The bird says, "Help, Steve Graham hit his head."

*

The bird says, "Help." The bird says, "Help." Down at the docks a bird says, "Help." Outside the aquarium birds say, "Help." Around City Hall the birds say, "Help." The birds say, "Help, Steve Graham hit his head." The birds say, "Help." The birds say, "Help." Everywhere, the birds say, "Help." Help, they say, Steve Graham hit his head. Help, Stephen Graham hit his head on the kitchen counter. Graham will fall and hit his head on the kitchen counter. Graham will fall and hit his head. Help, they say. Help.

image: Ryan Molloy


SHARE