#128 Me, Adrift

by Chelsea Resnick

Already I know that this memory will be blurred chalk on a sidewalk, and the only lingering visual will be her lips. Average in plumpness and color, they’d be unremarkable if not for her loquaciousness. She prattles on, and I let the words buzz around me like lightning bugs until they amass into a thousand spangles dancing upon my skin.

Her voice lowers, pooling in my ears like warm cider.

“God, you’re beautiful,” I want to tell her. Do I say it?

I must have because her brow quirks.

“Dr. Keller, is there someone I can call for you?”

Who? Who would I call? The name “Julia” springs to mind, but my daughter’s contempt, laced so delicately with pity, is utterly revolting.

The woman speaks fresh words that hum in the breeze, and I jolt, moving again toward the brick edifice behind her, toward my home with its clicking deadbolt.

“Please. Make this easy on yourself.”

I’m not brave enough to exist within my body alone—to be a walking web of sinews, to feel content with the intangible world inside my skull. My home holds me in as much as my skin.

The woman’s gold badge flashes when she turns to confer with her fellow officer. Behind her, the condo stands like a bride with a dangling wedding band. Oh, my wife of these seventeen years.

“I’m not going to keep telling you, Dr. Keller. You’ve been evicted. You must leave the property.”

No comments: