Cannonball


I heard it was my turn to be shot from the cannon. At first

I didn’t believe it. People are always joking about these things.

My friends told me it was serious this time though. Apparently

there was a whole meeting about it, and people were divided

on the issue. At the meeting, an old man took the microphone.

No one had seen him in years, but he showed up to this meeting

because he felt strongly that I should be shot from the cannon.

His argument was so graceful, apparently, everyone in the audience

was crying. His conclusion was about how hard the times

were becoming, how the cannon stood for human resilience,

and how I stood for all humans. In a sense, by shooting me

from the cannon they were shooting themselves up too.

I was simply the spokesperson. And what an honor it was

to be the spokesperson, to carry the weight of the whole human

family on my skinny shoulders. Fuck, I thought to myself. I always

knew metaphors would be my downfall. “I am flattered,” I said

to my friend Amy. “I understand this is quite an honor. But

why do I have to be shot from the cannon? I would rather

do some community service, or maybe give a speech.”

I am quite anxious about public speaking, so you can tell

how serious this was to me. I was not looking forward to being

shot from the cannon at all. For one thing, no one who had been

shot from the cannon had come back to say how it went.

I couldn’t help but assume the worst about them, and now,

about myself. “Don’t worry,” Amy said. “There is probably

a place over the hill that’s better than this shitty city. That’s probably

where you’re going. Plus,” she said,” I hear the air is like

a warm blanket when you’re in it. People are so afraid of falling

that they don’t enjoy flying, but the truth is, they’re the same.”

“Wow,” I said. I was slightly offended that Amy had used my

impending doom as a way to generalize about human fear

and happiness. I didn’t have time for that. But still, she made me

feel better about the whole thing. Especially the part about

this shitty city. It was, after all, not the best place to be and the

cannon was a fast way out. So I started walking, and every time

I passed a car, I thought to myself, I love you car, this is the end. Then

I approached the receptionist at the government building. She was

licking her lips, seductively I thought, but she could have been

just chapped. I cleared my throat and said, “I am ready.” She

looked up at me and suddenly I regretted everything. I grabbed

her face and kissed her. “Oh,” she said. “Thank you,” she said.

“I will tell my boss to build a cannon. We didn’t think you’d come.”

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