When they eat dinner together they all share one napkin. It isn’t really a napkin. It is the corner of an old mickey mouse beach towel. They are polite: they say, “pass the slop rag, please.”
(Because they cannot fuck each other), they arm wrestle after dinner, bellies down on the dirty carpeting. This is after they’ve finished the glass bottles and moved on to the plastic.
One dreams of intersections, another of library fines, and the one at the end of the hall, of North Korean missiles sailing over the house. They’d be beautiful in a painting– bright and geometric, their path cutting the frame into triangles. The next night it’s Vladimir Putin, sweaty and shirtless, hurling insults from the front yard. The rest of them cannot remember their dreams. The rest of them sleep drunk.
Late into the mornings they walk around in their underwear and glimpse sprawled bodies through cracked bedroom doors. The sheets are damp and there is a box fan in every window. If only they had one more box fan, or one more window, maybe it wouldn’t be like this.
But it doesn’t have to get to a point. They are like bored and melancholy kids in the summer, throwing a tennis ball against the house until it tumbles into the kitchen through a hole in the screen. They say, “Let me see if I can make,” or “Let me see if I can get,” or they smack the ball with a tire iron. Everything becomes a game. The object of the game is to pretend there is no undertow of despair. They will never talk about what happened where the linoleum meets the carpeting, down on the cold basement floor. They will carry on and carry on until the end of August comes: sad and exciting.
Anney Bolgiano received her MFA in creative writing (fiction) from George Mason University, and her BA from Guilford College. Her work has appeared in Funny Looking Dog Quarterly, District Lines, and other small publications. In 2018 she was awarded a residency at Art Farm Nebraska. She is equally dedicated to writing and teaching, and has taught literature and creative writing to kindergarteners through college seniors.