I was digging a hole

David Rutschman

I was digging a hole to bury my regrets in: that I have spoken harshly to those I love, that I am distant and frightened and self-involved. It was going to be a pretty deep hole. My palms ached from the shovel’s rough handle.

Foolish thoughts, foolish words, foolish actions: all headed in there. That was the plan at least. Moonlight and crickets. I was aware of my exhaustion, frayed nerves.

I’m kind of in a messed-up spot, I said out loud, and I heard a voice (it was my voice) say “Compared to what?” — and the ground lurched.


There is no baseline spot in relationship to which any other spot can be described as kind of messed up.

The earth slid from the shovel . . . the shovel from my hands . . .

Is this how the kite feels when the string snaps?

The moonlight filled the hole and came boiling over the edges like milk.

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