Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 74

Pulp Fiction | Sarah-Jean Krahn

i. There’s a debate about whether a piece of writing has meaning if it isn't read, following the logic of the philosophical question: ‘If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound.’ When I was a youngster, I liked to think that yes, the tree does make a sound. Either I was endeared by the thought that there is magic in nature, or I was just naïve like all the other kids. We thought sound just was. We didn’t think in terms of the correct answer, which opts for the necessity of a listener in order for a sound to exist. Now I'm never fooled by the question. I say ‘No!’ whenever anyone opens his mouth.

My father wore earplugs when he ventured into the forest to fell a tree. He never told me that, but once when I was naughtily spying on his morning constitutionals I glimpsed him stuffing his ears with the beige capsules he kept in the medicine cabinet and which I always thought were awkward, unswallowable pills, maybe for psoriasis. As it turns out, they were for deafness. Once he had left I tried to put them in my ears as he had, but they dropped to the floor unless I stayed perfectly still. And I wanted to chase the dog.

ii. The dog naughtily followed my father into the forest. I followed her with intentions to bring her back, but soon began to follow her lead and tail my father on his mysterious foray. We stayed at a relatively safe distance so he wouldn’t notice us. But when the dog changed her path to bound after a squirrel, instinct made me call out to her.

My father froze.

I froze.