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Maybe instead of talking I could throw a punch and then you could throw a punch and we could be in an action flick brawl right here in the grocery store, the kind that last too long and are too dark and too fast to tell what is happening, just arms and faces flying in and out of frame, fists smashing into the places you don’t hit in polite fights, below the belt or the liver or the kidney.

You could try to land a kidney punch but aim for the left side, the empty side, where there is just fluid and meat and whatever else fills up space in a body. Then I could smirk, like in the movies when the good guy swings at the bad guy but it doesn’t hurt the way it was supposed to, and the good guy gets a look like “oh no” and the bad guy smugly straightens his jaw.

I am the bad guy in all the fights in my head.

You have to know you would lose if we fought with fists. You have watched me throw my body down hills on two or three or four wheels, make bongs out of trash and roll joints with Bible pages. You know I never got around to making plans for the time between now and dying, that I gave away some of my guts because isn’t the second kidney just a spare, isn’t two playing it too safe? What good are punches against a person who never imagines the future?

So instead you say “I heard what happened” and stare at me with your saddest eyes. You ask me “did you get the kidney back after” so I have to explain that it doesn’t work that way, it is in the urn with the rest of him and the funeral was for part of me, too. You put a hand on my arm, wait for me to say something, and I picture throwing a punch.