Whenever I fly I think of you, of being drunk and dirty, of the disappointment on my father’s face. I showed up full of dog hair and whiskey. We drove to a liquor store where a bottle broke the silence. What do you think of me? You never knew me at 21. I never asked enough; you never got to tell me. The rage and hollowness that stole years from me left my coffers reserved for grief empty and inadequate. You never knew I changed from a snot-nosed kid playing in the snow to a house of cards. One whiff of rye, cracked cheap pleather, and she returns—a broken young woman flying to your funeral.
I read that there had been a terrible car accident in Livingston Parish. I know a person there—so I thought, maybe. Maybe it was her. The article said something about an upset son. She has one of those. It really could be her. I had better check to make sure she’s alright. Thank God, she’s alive and well. Though, if it was her, I could be depressed for a while. Drunk, stoned, and justified. I would make sense to other people. Don’t pretend like it’s never crossed your mind.
Melissa Levine writes short fiction and poetry. Her short fiction piece ‘Mimosa’ was published in Typishly. Levine received her BA and MAT from Louisiana State University in English Literature and Secondary English Teaching, respectively. Her research focused on Trauma Theory in literature classrooms, and she currently teaches secondary English. Find her on Tumblr as levinewriteslit.