By Megan Finsel
I spend three weeks in the dining room staring at it on the shelf before I find the courage to touch it. When my hand doesn’t pass through, when my fingertips connect with the cold, rough metal, I could cry.
Touch is a funny thing, when you think about it. How when you are alive, you use it to interact with the world. A touch on a shoulder equals familiarity, while a hug offers comfort. Textures tell you what is pleasant, and what is not, while temperatures warn you of danger. Then, when you are dead, touch is what you feel starved of the most.
When I lift it, it’s heavier than I remember from my past life. I stroke the metal; run my fingertips over the rust and peeling paint. I touch it to my lips to feel the chill. I sit and hold it for hours at a time. I try to carry it with me, but the doors quickly thwart my efforts. I cannot open them, and it cannot pass through. So I stay here in the dining room because when I hold it I feel alive again. It reminds me of my humanity.
Sometimes, I imagine I can still see traces of blood on it. Isn’t it funny that the weapon used to kill me is now the only object I can interact with? Yeah, it’s hilarious.