What brings me to the basement in the middle of the night is as much a product of my history as it is my circumstance. It’s quiet, no loads in either washing machines or dryers, no one either on the exercise equipment on the far side. I creep down the stairs slowly, slowly like in a horror movie, like if this was a horror movie I’d be creeping down the stairs slowly and the audience would be shouting, “No! No! Don’t go down the stairs!” Broom in one hand and the other gripping the banister because I’ve been drinking. Amy’s been concerned by how much I’ve been drinking. It’s always them who can’t control their impulses that don’t survive, the audience knows. The audience understands intuitively the tropes of this, the horror movie genre. I peek around the doorway as if beyond the doorway is the monster I’ve been creeping toward, but there is no monster. There is only lint.
Originally published Spring 2019 in Carve Magazine, Honorable Mention, 2019 Poetry & Prose Contest.
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