Eight Thousand


Sarah James got herself off without looking at the camera positioned on its tripod so as to capture her shoulders and face.  She had her eyes closed.  If they opened and light resolved itself to a view of her dresser or wall, she shut them again.
      All day she'd felt clouded, submerged.  At one point she'd put on a coat and gone walking.  Wind in the turning leaves of an oak had lifted her, then set her back down.
      She typed in "bed" when moving the video file to her laptop.  She put the last minutes of it on the internet under that name.  Then she felt she could sleep and tried right away—before something could change.
      Waking up, an hour later, she reached for the laptop and angled its screen to reduce the slight glare.  She saw the word "bed" above the still image of herself with eyes closed.  She saw that the video had been viewed—if this was right—over eight thousand times.
      For a time she looked out the window and saw nothing.  Then she washed her face and changed clothes.
      Although the shop where her watch had been repaired was near the top of Atlantic Avenue, she parked lower down, a good half mile away, and walked on the side that was getting direct sunlight.  She walked among others.  Without looking, she knew that she walked as they did, mouth closed, arms free and swinging.  She took in the sun.  She had a sense that, viewed from above, they were all of them atoms of something.  
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