GIANTSTONE by Andri Snær Magnason as published in Emergence Magazine. Translated by Philip Roughton

I’M FASCINATED BY TIME. Sometimes whole years pass evoking only a few memories, while some moments are captured at such high resolution in my mind, I could zoom in and uncover endless split-second details. One such moment is happening right now. I’ve just picked up a concrete paving stone, swung it with my right hand, and let it fly in the direction of a 2020 Range Rover Vogue. I watch it spin slowly as it approaches the driver’s side window. Time is so interesting—how it’s possible to zoom in on a single moment. One corner of the stone is now touching the window, which is still intact. It will inevitably break and there will be consequences. But I did not throw the stone in haste or panic; it was a well-considered decision.

As I’m thinking this, it’s as if the paving stone has formed a small depression in the car window, not unlike how the water in a geyser expands into a sphere at the surface before it shoots into the air.

I’m not an extremist. I’m very ordinary, just to make it clear. I’ve never gotten into trouble with the law and never broke windows during my time at Árbæjarskóli, my elementary school—probably the only one in my group of friends who didn’t dare do it. I’m critical but not unfair, and sometimes I’m far too cooperative. I say “mmm-hmm” to this and that, when I should be setting clear boundaries, professionally and personally. So it wasn’t exactly like me to hurl a big stone at the side window of this car. Something major must have happened, and yes, a great deal has happened. The stone is now touching the window, and although it’s a rather new Range Rover and the damage could be considerable, I didn’t throw the stone on a whim. I threw it trusting that the damage would be worth the cost. But, because this is one of those moments I can cut down into split seconds, no harm has yet been done. The stone is perched against the window; it’s traveling at high speed but the window is still intact. There’s a man just inside the window. I can zoom in on him and see how he’s looking at the stone.

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