Jack Galmitz


"It's not a movie."
"It feels like one."
"Maybe, but it's real."
"You can rewind it and watch the parts you like best or worst."
"Yeah, but going over memories changes them."
"Does it? I haven't found that to be so."
"I don't know. I read that somewhere. It sounded right."
"I used to love the movies. Not so much anymore."
"What changed?"
"I did. I got older. Novelty isn't so important."
"Yeah. I know what you mean."


I lowered the car radio.
"Dad, I'm worried."
"What's the matter, son?"
We were passing through the stores in the small town we lived in.
"Dad, I have no feelings. I can't feel anything."
I felt a bit relieved having said something after such a long time.
"It's been going on for years and it's gradually getting worse. I feel like something's the matter with me."
I waited for a reply. After all, I hardly ever confided in my father anymore and this was something serious.
I waited as he drove and stopped at red lights or stop signs.
I waited as he gave people crossing the street the right of way.
I waited and nothing happened.
He never said another word. It was as if my admission that I had an emotional problem was not something to discuss.
Eventually, we reached home in silence.


The morning nurse came in.
"What are you doing in your street clothes?"
"It's freezing in here. I can't take the cold one minute more."
"You can't wear your own clothes in here. You have to put on the hospital gown.
"Here's a pair of bottoms."
The bottoms were so tight they could hardly snap shut around my stomach.
"And you've got to keep those monitor leads on you."
"Look, I'm not an animal in a lab. I refuse to keep these damn leads on me all the time. I can't move with them on me."
"If you remove this section of the leads, you can walk a few steps over to the chair. You can do that every few hours."
"I'm telling you I can't take any more of this."
"Do you know where you are?"
"The hospital."
"Do you know what day it is?"
"How could I? I have no reference points to know that- no television, no newspaper, no computer, no one to talk to for over twenty hours each day."

Jack Galmitz was broken in the world when he was around twenty-seven. He never found a way to repair himself. His writing and photographs are vestiges left by his efforts.
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