Nonfiction: Fifteen Micro-Essays by Matthew Schultz

ON THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE

First, God created the letters of the Alphabet.

Then, using these, He created everything else.

 

MY MOTHER

Rather than apologizing for how she was when we were growing up, she told me that I should thank her because it would all be good material for an essay someday. This was that essay.

 

ON GAY MEN AND CATS

There is a special relationship between gay men and cats.

 

ON “TITANIC”

“Titanic” is the greatest movie ever created, and the amazing part is that any one of us could have written it ourselves. Nothing within it is surprising.

We love it because somewhere, deep down, we hate our society and wish to see it submerged into the ocean.

Alternatively: we love it because all we want is to find true love on a sinking boat, and then have it preserved for us in ice for all eternity.

 

AZIZ

Things didn’t work out with Aziz.

 

THE FLIGHT ZONE OF PIGEONS

As I raise my arms the pigeons take flight, landing a short distance away. I approach again and repeat the gesture. The pigeons again erupt into flight.

They are as if an extension of my own fingertips.

But now the pigeons are slightly farther away. I repeat the gesture again and this time they do not move. The tether is cut. I am alone in my body again as they are in theirs.

 

 

POLITICS

My position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the same as everyone else’s.

 

NO SMOKING

Do I dare smoke in the airport bathroom? It smells of smoke. Someone before me, perhaps just seconds before me, dared to smoke in the airport bathroom. But do I dare to smoke in the airport bathroom?

No. I do not.

 

ON THE TRUTH OF THE BIBLE

The Bible is not true. But it’s honest.

Alternatively: the Bible is honest, and therefore it’s true.

Alternatively: the Bible is neither fiction nor non-fiction nor a cookbook, and thus unclassifiable in modern terms, and should be eliminated as a subject of conversation, replaced with further discussion of weather.

 

ON CONTACT WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD

When I was little I told my friends that I saw a ghost when I looked outside my window. It never really happened, but I told the story so much that I began to believe that it had. I can still see him there, floating by the garden shed, a wisp of white on a howling, windy night.

 

ON SOCIETY

Everyone else is really part of society but I am only pretending.

 

ON THE CAPRICIOUSNESS OF FANTASY

I bought an orange tree and put it on a table on the balcony. Contemplating my orange tree I thought about someday leaving the city, buying land and raising chickens.

Mental images that arose:

A perfect omelet.

Slaughtering a chicken.

A child, mine, collecting eggs.

 

ON NEW YORK

At its best a city is a shared dream. At its worst a city is a shared nightmare. At all times a city is a delusion. New York, of course, is no exception.

 

ON ANGELS

It is said that an angel visits every child in the womb and teaches it the entirety of the Torah. When the education is complete the angel touches the child above the lips, below the nose, and the knowledge is forgotten, but a faint impression on the flesh is left behind.

 

ON ANGELS, CONT.

“Boop!”

 

 

 

Matthew Schultz is a writer currently based in Tel Aviv.  He’s interested in experimental nonfiction and his work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Ecotone, Every Day Fiction, Vice, and Tablet.

2 thoughts on “Nonfiction: Fifteen Micro-Essays by Matthew Schultz”

  1. Rory O'Toole says:

    Love these! The only problem is I wish there were more

  2. Curt says:

    I’m afraid you didn’t get the Titanic movie, at least in your alternate interpretation.

    The point wasn’t that we all want to find true love on a sinking ship and then have it preserved in ice (not very foresightful, BTW, since it melts) but rather that love IS a sinking ship for two we’re all desperate to board. When you get a little older and have scrambled into your share of life boats you’ll see what I mean.

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