First, halfway up a mountain in Newfoundland, his face a patchwork of rain tarps, prayer rugs and book spines. Never had conversation been so steep, abstractions theorized, truth sliced into bite sized falsity, grinning as he tore down tenets before my very eyes. Leashed by words in stride, my mind woven and strung by ripe demeanor, fruits hand picked but not hand fed, chewing on bitter philosophies amid broken olive branches.
Gasping every sunken step inclined, our rests punctuated by breathless regret; a lawless lawyer, his son, guiding clients to forbidden fruit, decomposing in the dumpsters of backend burger joints. His daughter, an educationless engineer, her DNA coiled in non-Euclidean artistry. Sneering as he recounts morals twisted in inconsistent helixes, truth characterized by quantum mechanical drives. In life, he told me, probabilities reign when you're not looking.
Lightning, he taught me, strikes twice. I didn't understand until, a decade older, I found him slouched in a coffee shop, espresso cold, his children tending to his wits' end. Only when they left did I slip into his cracked leather, his eyes leveled with mine. He spoke kindly enough, spilling atrophied anecdotes, mouth agape, asking who I was.
Today, I read his obituary. I found it published online, his words cataloged, archived, dust lined, abridged in three sentences of hereditary guise. In my backyard, I seeded an olive tree, standing alone despite snow and cobbled stone, his last anachronistic shrine.
Ian Monchesky (he/him) is a 17 year old writer and former competitive swimmer based in Halifax, N.S. He is the Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Wild Thyme Literary, a literary journal targeted at young, developing artists. He is currently in the editing phase of his novel, Reflections. When he's not writing, he can be found getting hopelessly lost while hiking through the woods.