pages This Is How You Will Remember Me

by Ben Janse

Published in Issue No. 206 ~ July, 2014



When I run through the city the streetlamps will flash off and on in front of me. This will cause a general excitement for the run, which is the idea. They will say, this is what we’ve been waiting for. A gesture, something significant. They will say, I heard he was an orphan. And yet look at his step, that proud stride. That is a man we could invite into our homes, give our babies to. When they give me their babies I will be nonchalant about it. Sixteen babies they’ll say, are you sure you can handle that? And I’ll say sure, keep them coming. Me and the babies will live in a farmhouse outside of town. There I will teach them to milk cows and connect electrical wires. Slowly, the children will start to look like me. It will come on subtle, something in their walk, a spot just above their nose, to the left of the eyes. It will be a good change. Literacy rates will go up, recycling will increase twelvefold. And then, when we are ready, we will take to the streets.

When I run through the city streets with my children you will be unable to tell us apart. We will be like an army. You will look at them and only see me. This is how you will remember me after I am gone.


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Ben Janse is a writer who lives in Brooklyn. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Granta and Drift Index. He graduated with an MFA in creative writing from the New School and is working on It's Not Safe Here, a novel about railbikes, camouflage, the jungle, paradoxes and infinity.