Someone, somewhere, missed you. When viewing time as a number, it seems small; to see the number 4071, one has to think if this date has occurred as of yet, which it has not. When we see a number such as 1982, we automatically ascribe a date to it; it will never function as the amount of low and high-backed chairs, filled with black fingernailed men awaiting ripped meat and sex, their hands outreached as water is poured over them. We see transportation in an unlucky city implode through the air and across thick flat ground on the same morning. We see the day nine planets align on the same side of the sun. We see days bring more of these things, the alignment of things and the misalignment of others, as we see the importance of planets, circles that we are sorry for, the awareness of life only after cutting us in half near the trunk, counting out then in, in then out to go over the miscounting of orbits, years skipped over and forgotten as the lines in the cross-section blur, lateral meristems feeding on each other, a thousand plateaus as we become arborescent.
BRIAN OLIU is originally from New Jersey & has taught at the University of Alabama since receiving his M.F.A. in 2009. He has a B.A. in English from Loyola University-Maryland & was the recipient of the Buford Boone Fellowship during his time at Alabama. His work has been anthologized in Best Creative Nonfiction Volume 2, 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Innovative Fiction,The &Now Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing 2011-2013, & has been twice selected as a Notable Essay in the Best American Essays series.
He is the author of So You Know It’s Me, a collection of Craigslist Missed Connections, & Level End, a series of lyric essays about videogame Boss Battles. He is also the author of Come See For Yourself, originally published in The Fullness of Everythingwith Christopher Newgent & Tyler Gobble. Come See For Yourself is available in its entirety online on Google Maps.