Our bedspread was a patchwork quilt my friend made for me. She met a man in Montreal who practiced acupressure. They lay down in the field beside my house and he found the points necessary to abort their fetus. Once she and I picked up a hitchhiker outside a prison and drove him to the ferry. You were on an overnight at work and didn’t know, wouldn’t have known until much later if he had killed us. The city had seven hills. Just like Rome. But not. I sat in the kitchen wrapped in the quilt and worked. Then you fucked your coworker and told me you loved her. I threw my Pelican Shakespeare at your head and missed but broke the book’s spine. Later I asked for all of the details about you and her and ate them greedily as they spilled from your mouth.
The way you twitched in the car. Your tic. The way you smelled the inside of books when you were reading them. The way you said I didn’t understand about collecting vinyl, like it was some art. Science. Magic. Your missing tooth. The thick pelt of hair in your ears. Your ex-wife saying to me, I know it feels good to have someone crazy about you. I said, no, it feels horrible. It feels scary. Then I realized you were all in it together.
The man across from me made art out of solder. His hands never touched the table, sticky with spills, before the seisiún. And your outrage and your pride. It was about those, too. When we put the dog down. When we euthanized the dog. When we killed the dog. The second after he stopped breathing. The second he stopped breathing. I said, “I want him back. Bring him back to me. My friend. My friend.” All of my ugliness and my shame. That does not exist here.
Your hands around my neck. It would have been easy to have been killed. I realize that now.
Myfanwy Collins has published one novel, ECHOLOCATION, a collection of short fiction, I AM HOLDING YOUR HAND, and a young adult novel, THE BOOK OF LANEY. For more information, please visit: http://www.myfanwycollins.com
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