Skeletons

There are lots of skeletons in my closet, but they’re tiny, mouse-sized, scattered across the hardwood. I notice them, lift and examine each, then try vainly to bury them, rearrange them in order of time, importance, supposed “topical relevance” to my day.

 

I go to the kitchen, spread honey on a slice of bread, and eat anxiously, standing barefoot at the counter, and ponder how to avoid my skeletons—I go to the grocery store, shut my laptop, flip my phone face-down, go back to my closet, open it, shut it, open it again, ignore the knock on the front door (can’t say who, nervous to find out), feel my heart rate rise, feel a sagging weight behind my eyes, a heaviness in my shoulders, lean against the door, sit down in a slump, and eventually degrade into a restless sleep.

 

It is my mother who shakes me awake. I feel achey, as if I hadn’t slept. She helps me stand, but I make her pull all my weight. The closet door opens a crack. My sick heart revs, a tiny car on a steep hill. I fear the white bones, the skeletons on my closet floor, but as I look through my hollowed-out, sleepless eyes, I see they’re tiny. Mouse-sized skeletons scattered across the hardwood.

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