How the Sun Works
by Jason Nelson
From a distance, somewhere between two and a half-million miles and seventeen
inches, I look sad. It’s not my fault, but rather the gnomes living on my face.
They’re tiny creatures, with hairy foreheads and three big stubby fingers. They
operate a series of pulleys and a lattice work of scaffolding around my mouth.
You can’t see them. No, not even if you had an electron microscope and a
Norwegian lab assistant, could you see their fumbling hands yanking and
contorting my expressions. You have to understand, well you don’t have to, but
I’d sure appreciate it, that it’s really not my fault I look sad. Somewhere deep
in the bureaucratic mess of gnome society it is required by gnome law, I look
sorrowful and distraught. I’ve tried legal maneuvers, but I’d need knee pads and
really loose hip sockets, which are expensive and messy. I’ve hired a lobbyist
for the next gnome legislative session, in hopes of at least changing the law
enough so I can go from looking sad to just looking slightly confused.
There’s a footstool somewhere. A gigantic footstool covering five or six
acres of prime farm land. I think there’s a creek close by, but my memory is a
bit foggy, something to do with the humidity and temperature in rich loam
basins. Sometimes I wish I could prop my feet up on that stool, and recline back
in complete comfort. People would drive by on the ruddy county roads to see,
avoiding holes and the dashing rabbits, and be really jealous. But I’d probably
turn my body to wave sarcastically, and fall back a hundred feet to the freshly
plowed field below.