Witness Protection

by Brendan O'Brien

You turn on the evening news and learn the world is crumbling in B’s: Bear Market, Baghdad, Bush junior. You continue viewing and wonder why hurricanes are all named after eighty-year-olds ~ Arthur, Bertha, Nana, Wilfred ~ since you’ve never met a particularly devastating Wilfred. When you see what Katie Couric did to her hair you leave the room, perturbed, to put water on the stove, practice putting on hallway carpet and peak through bedroom blinds. Thick-necked neighborhood kids, unable to let go, relive football glory under halogen streetlamps. You eat your noodles, Google “Katie Couric Today Show,” peak out the front blinds and bite your toenails. When you pick up the phone tonight, same time as every other night, the line will ring forever and ever, only tonight those rings will be interrupted by a knock and, ironically, a shimmer of hope.


Brendan O'Brien is happy to be only a half-dozen degrees from Kevin Bacon.