Foreign Shore

The last time I was in Scully’s was Halloween, ten years ago. A woman with the head of a bird had kissed me and asked me why I’d left Buffalo. I told her I’d never lived in Buffalo, but her question opened a crack of doubt. I was a Neanderthal, with massive brow ridges made of mortician’s wax and fake fur stapled to my sneakers.

Wow,” the bartender said, “Ten years. That’s a long time.”

Ten years is nothing,” I said. “I cross decades in a single stride. I crush time under my heel.”

Must be thirsty work,” he said, pouring another beer.

I’d barely brought it to my lips when I found myself on the crumbling shore of this crashing sea. There’s salt in the wind and I’m alone. It’s not a place I recognize. Even my hands look strange to me, shriveled and bony like a mummy’s.