My short story, “Sleepwalking,” will be appearing in San Diego Writers, Ink Anthology Vol. 4, edited by Jericho Brown & Laurel Corona. I’ll be attending a release party for the book this evening and I’m excited to see my work in print for the first time!
Contributors to the anthology will be reading excerpts from their at the party. Here’s what I’ll be reading tonight:
My bed was sweaty after hours of my tossing around and trying to sleep. I left it and got up to visit the bathroom. I slunk down the hallway, past the plastic houseplants and neatly framed photographs, pausing when I thought I heard a noise. My toes curled deep in the carpet as I tensed, listening to see if our mother was sleeping. Our father always snores. He snorks and growls his way through the night, announcing his slumber to the world at large, but our mother; our mother is far more subtle. She lays curled in on herself like a crescent moon, three quarters of her mind eclipsed by undifferentiated darkness, and one quarter still brightly aware. One quarter of her mind stays open all night silent, distant and patient as the cold satellite that revolves around the earth. The white crescent of her body lays bright in the darkness of her bed and listens for noises in the dark. In the hallway I swayed my weight from left to right, producing an experimental squeak from the floorboards. I received nothing, save my father’s snores, for an answer.
Streetlight trickled through the bathroom window, casting shadows in the basin of the sink. The countertop was cool against my skin as I laid my arm on it, inspecting the toilet seat cover. It was still blue, still plush, but it was completely free from stains. I rubbed my fingers in it, pulling apart the pile, searching for a remnant of my memory. I knelt that way for a long time, crouched on the cool bathroom tile. After a while I leaned back on my heels and tried to remember if the seat cover had been replaced since Darlene’s accident, or if a stain that deep would ever fade away.