Here’s a piece of flash fiction I cooked up about going to rehab at the worst possible time. Enjoy!
It was all too much for Grayson.
On the TV screen, images of car bombs exploding in the nation’s capital and other various cities triggered his anxiety. Nothing was happening in his city – Philadelphia – just yet, but it was only a matter of time.
“Do we have any left?” Grayson asked his girlfriend, Thea.
“No,” she said. “I’m putting my foot down this time. Now is not the time to be doing Anvil. Look, I know you’re freaked out, but let’s just chill.”
It’s a bit cliché to write a reflection on the pandemic year, but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s been a long year, and it’s also been surprising to me how I’ve gotten used to pandemic lockdowns. Like most people, I was very nervous in the beginning, especially because of my mental health concerns. And as 2020 dragged on and all the terrible things that happened, it hit me emotionally like everyone else. But the pandemic lifestyle hasn’t been all bad.
“Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The sun sets, the city burns.
I’m not sure what attracted me to Stephanie. Was it her hazel eyes, which changed colors and had a circle of orange around the iris? Or was it how calm I felt around her, like I could be myself and not worry about ridicule?
I lay with her in bed on a Saturday night. She ran her fingers down my chest as we talked, and I could feel goosebumps shoot all over my body.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked, breaking the cool and calm silence.
“I’m still thinking about the talk at the university, to be honest. It was interesting. I always wondered what it’d be like to be a cyborg.”
History is collective memory, and it’s always subject to correction.
It’s written by winners, whether daughters of despots or democrats. They build bronze statues that inform us of what happened, who’s calling the shots, who owns the space you occupy.
As the city convulses, an ex-mayor’s monument is fractured, beat to the ground. Our historical texts must be rewritten, newspaper editors must be removed, the revolution must be televised and live streamed to your social media feeds, and you must forget what you’ve learned because
there are new facts.
(Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash)
When democracy died, I was reading Kafka –
gunshots blared + factions fought for ideals
they thought worth dying for –
TVs tuned to Washington +
the White House went dark,
troops marched + destroyed dissidents.
America is on fire, but it’s okay –
we’ve burned before and we’ll surely
burn again. Men in masks smash store windows
and flames from a police car rise into a clear night sky.
I saw it all from the apartment window.