One of my friends was the washerman’s son, whose misshapen head resembled nothing more than a potato. His adoration of me was abject and absolute.
One day, when we were playing, he showed me his favorite possession, a thick cube of paper that had once been a diary.
Seeing his tremendous love for his possession, I wanted it.
“Give it to me,” I said.
He stared at me, aghast.
“Give it to me,” I said, “Or I won’t talk to you again.”
His eyes filled with tears, but he handed it over.
I left him and I joined my father, who was taking rounds of the building.
“Look at what my friend gave me,” I said.
“That’s nice,” he said, not taking off his headphones.
I could hear the Potato crying behind us.
I went home and put the diary in my toy drawer.
Then I forgot all about it.
Adreyo Sen recently finished his MFA at SUNY Stony Brook, Southampton. His thesis is a novel that incorporates magical realism and fantasy. He is in love with New York.
S Cearley is a former professor of philosophy and AI researcher in computer-derived writing. He currently lives eight inches above a river watching ducks, otters and herons. His major influence is from the background of human-computer interaction, learning from each other and forming new methods of creating imagery in the natural and synthetic mind. Tweet @scearley or visit futureanachronism.com. He made the art that appears here using photography by Sarah Shields.
Sarah Shields is a mother of two who loves to paint, write poetry and children’s stories, and take photographs of anything and everything she fancies (which makes her a sporadic and often slow traveling companion). twitter: @saraheshields