“Things don’t just disappear; they can always be found if you know where to look,” Leslietta Bernadard had said, rather fatefully, to her boss on Monday, as he was searching the office for his car keys at the end of the workday. Perhaps the universe overheard her and fancied itself a prankster, or perhaps her coworker overheard and fancied himself a cynic, because either way, Leslietta Bernadard walked into Donald Troy Insurance on Tuesday and found herself without a chair.Continue reading “The Missing Chair”
“Aaaand N.T. with the win!”
The crowd went wild—-or, rather, Reid, Carli, and Talia went wild, cheering and dancing around, as N.T.’s sled crossed over the line drawn in the snow by Reid’s boot. Margaret trailed N.T. by a few seconds, sliding slowly on her toboggan and laughing at her own loss.
Years before the global revolution and the planet restart, I had a dream. To my past self, it was an unnerving but dismissible fantasy; what was I to do with what would seem like a work of fiction to others? Dreams have no impact on earthly affairs, and my dream could have meant anything. Still, it haunted me for a while, but by the time the unraveling began, I had long forgotten my prophetic conception and it wasn’t until years after we began rebuilding did I find the journal in which I jotted the dream’s events down, and wept onto the telltale words. Continue reading “Lullaby Sunset”
September 10, 2018
“…No further information has been released until officials conclude their investigations. George.” “Thank you Jackie. This week kicks off National Suicide Prevention Week. Each year, over…”
I watch the image of the television screen glint off the glass cover of the cake stand in the middle of my breakfast table. The massive television screen plays from across the living room, but its little reflection is only two inches. Inside the cake stand is a strawberry bundt cake, from a shop downtown. I pull my bathrobe tighter around me. The early morning air in the house is cool, and I can hear the sputtering of my coffee pot in the kitchen.
I. The Bedroom
I’m awake before noon. It’s not much earlier than noon, but I’m awake. My head feels dense and achy at the base of my neck and sore everywhere else. It’s too hot and my pillow is hard and lumpy. I kick off the afghan tangled around my body and roll to my side.
It looked like a perfectly fine couch—a little outdated, plaid in cream and brown tones—but because of its proximity to the dumpster, one felt that there must be something inherently undesirable about it, not to mention it had rained earlier in the day and so it was probably soaked. The couch had been left in front of the dumpster and the cushions had been tossed in the dumpster, on a bed of trash bags.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.”
–T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
My father stood about a stone’s throw away, ankle-deep in the ocean’s tide. The wind whipped my hair around and my voice was carried off along the beach, tumbling out of ear shot; he probably hadn’t heard me. I sat farther back on the shore, on a beach towel spread out on dry sand. As I tucked a lock of hair that was flitting around my face behind my ear, I saw my father turn around.
“You remind me of that guy who walked along the shore with his trousers rolled,” I called.
Frowning, he barked, “Huh?” Continue reading “The Ocean Always Moves”
The little boy put his hand on the second-story window, palm flat and fingers spread apart.
“No Baby, don’t!” his mother cried, shuffling over to him, scooping him up from behind, his legs swinging as she lifted him. She had the seat of his pants (or overalls, actually) in one hand and steadied him with the other.
His hand had left behind the ideal of handprints, the most iconic of handprint images in secondhand pineapple juice residue. Smack-dab in the middle of that 28 Hanover Lane second-story window.
I don’t check my mail very often. In fact, the only reason I had even checked my mail that early spring day was because I was expecting a letter from the bank with my new debit card. I had lost mine a few weeks ago at a bar in Portland, along with the bracelet I was wearing and the chapstick I had in those pesky shallow romper pockets. The debit card and chapstick I could replace, inconvenient as it was, but the bracelet I was more upset about. It was a beaded one from my days in Athens; my old friend bought it for me at a flea market, from one of those vendors that doesn’t sell vintage materials but cheap accessories like flashy purses and plastic rings. She hadn’t spent more than seven dollars on it, and I watched her buy it and hand it to me, but it had sort of worn a comfortable patch of my wrist for a couple years and came to feel like a part of me.