Monday, August 03, 2009


There was a fortune cookie left over from dinner last night. I broke it in half and removed its lone intestine. "Your future is boundless as the lofty heavens," it said. There were smiley faces on it. They did not seem particularly friendly.

I am not a fan of the taste of fortune cookies, but feeling fortunate, I popped half of it into my mouth and proceeded to fumble the other half. It shattered on the floor, which somehow seemed to contradict the optimism of my fortune.

And like that: my friend Jesse was sitting in my kitchen. On this day a year ago, he died in a freak accident while he was out jogging. His future was not boundless. His future ended on the corner of Vanderbilt and Atlantic Avenue on a day exactly like this one. And yet who better to verify the truth of the fortune? Who better to ask about the loftiness of heaven than him?

"Jesse," I said to an empty chair. "Is it really that...lofty?"

"Eh," he shrugged. "I mean it's only heaven."

I picked the brittle, broken pieces off my kitchen floor. I tried to think of what else we could say to each other, a year deeper into my boundless future, and him into the one I continue to imagine for him.

For me really.

I looked over at him and began my boundless, lofty future this way: by taking dirty, broken pieces of fortune and eating every last crumb.

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