Collisions, by Ben Kassoy
Updated: Oct 26, 2021
I spent so many days wandering the wreckage and possibility of the space between the buildings and reverberating from the shock of you, the bomb, dropped on my city, a gorgeous and awful mushroom cloud pluming; flowers blooming; lingering with relentless annihilation and memory in a blast radius that spanned a lifetime.
I don’t know how long it’ll take two particles of dust floating aimlessly around the universe to collide but I think we’d all agree it’s unlikely but not altogether impossible.
After all, Randy Johnson once threw a fastball that hit a bird midair, and of all the pitches in all the stadiums in the world, I had to fly into yours.
It was like being a world-famous ghost hunter searching for Maine’s most notorious phantom in an old, old mansion and turning a corner and finding my great grandfather, one hundred and thirty years old, alive and well, zooming through a Friday crossword puzzle before shabbos, or like taking a post-divorce solo trip to Buenos Aires and tossing the decorative hotel pillows onto the floor to reveal the childhood blankie I lost in the manatee house at the zoo when I was four and just being like “What are you doing here?” which is an unanswerable, dumbfounded stand-in for a thousand other questions that carry exhilaration and pure terror like pulling down the lap bar and inching up the first hill on a rollercoaster where seventy percent of riders get a lifetime supply Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the other thirty plummet to their deaths.
One minute you’re wearing a giant shirt that’s yellow for sunshine and the next minute you’re hot with humiliation and melting in your own sweat until you’re the biggest puddle on 24th and Lex and when someone’s dog begins to lap you up she’s like “No, Amanda! No!”
Reminds me of a video I saw where a golden retriever is licking a window separating him from a pizza — perfect, seductive, steaming; untouchable and untouched — and the dog’s tongue yearns up and down in perpetuity and his desperate saliva weeps down the glass and I know I’m supposed to think it’s funny.
I think about gouging out my eyes and drenching your scent on an upright bass and trying to make it work between us.
I think about the difference between The Stanford Prison Experiment and an all-inclusive resort. About the problem of “sunshower” versus “the devil beating his wife.” And about the conversation that went
“When you told your friends you don’t love me anymore, how did they feel?”
Ben Kassoy is the Editor-in-Chief of DoSomething.org and has written for the websites of Elle, GQ, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Elite Daily, Human Parts, and others. Formerly, Ben was a marginally successful child actor and an amateur social contortionist. Today, he’s trying his best and knows you are, too. More at www.benkassoy.com and @bkassoy.
Ed T. Eberle is a New York native, an LA transplant and is now a Portland, Oregon based artist working in acrylic, watercolor, ink, prints and found objects. As a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York, he studied both Film and Fine Arts. He has worked in various positions in the film and television industry including; as a writer/producer, cameraman, and post production executive. As a journalist, he was Senior Editor of LA-based 'Film and Video Magazine' writing on creative, technical and business issues in the TV and film industry. In addition, his work has appeared in American Cinematographer, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.