The Flood

I am in and out of sleep next to my cousin in a bed in the kitchen. We had shared a bed as children many times, but we were grown now. My father walks through the kitchen talking back to my brother who is in another room in the house. They are talking about my brother’s trouble with his job. I speak loudly in present tense, as though I am giving him the words to use, “I quit my job.” My father comes back into the kitchen, “You what?” He is offended by my statement. I start to explain and he interrupts, “Go to my room.” I go to his bedroom to wait and continue on into his bathroom. The floor to ceiling windows in the bedroom and bathroom frame the flooded yard beautifully. The water is murky, but there is bright green grass poking through it. The toilet and the fixtures are all on the left side of the room. A window to the right is framed by a very white wall that comes back toward the door I entered and then is met by another white wall the door frame was built into. The toilet is very tall and was not flushed the last time it was used. I stand tall to aim into the bowl and then look for the flusher. It is awkwardly positioned on the side of the bowl. I then go to wash my hand and have to almost stand on my toes to reach the soap. I dry may hands and move my back into the corner of the room, the towel still in hand. My father comes in and grabs the towel away. I cover my face with my arms as my mother hits me with a knotted sock. I hear my father on the phone as the sock beating continues. He is speaking with some kind of mental health professional. Then my mother takes the phone, “He was just talking about it…” with a mocking tone, “Oh, it’s going to happen anyway. I’d might as well get it over with.”

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