I’m sitting at the kitchen table and you’re sitting across from me. It’s time for dinner. Outside the open window, dark clouds smear the horizon. I think there’s a storm coming, but you tell me to leave the window open. You say that we need the fresh air.
I look down at the table, at my empty plate. I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting here, waiting to eat. You remark that it won’t be much longer, that I must learn how to be patient. Your smile is the wallpaper of my childhood bedroom:
yellow, faded, peeling at the edges.
It sets my teeth on edge.
From somewhere, I hear the faint notes of a piano. It sounds like it hasn’t been tuned in years. There was never a piano in the house before.
Neither of us know how to play.
Someone is wrestling the broken keys, extracting a tormented song that oozes like pus from a lanced boil. I try to ask you about it, but
the words are cut from my lips, bleeding out into the night sky.
I look back down at my plate and it is still empty. A ghostly face reflects across the blank white surface. I think that it must be mine. You ask me if I enjoyed the food. I don’t remember eating, but I tell you that it was delicious.
Outside, it begins to rain.