1 For WYDWYDN, a pandemic-inspired zine, put together by Marina Sulima.

2 About horrible New Year’s experiences.

Short story (2020)
~ Bangalore Bedroom

And for the first time in over a year I woke up past noon. When I opened my eyes, the blinds were dancing to a humming rhythm in my head. She was still asleep.

And despite the rhythm, the light, and her breathing, there was stillness in the room. I could feel it growing, unpleasantly overtaking me.

And I was encapsulated in the covers, unable to move my arms and legs. My heart was pumping too fast. For some reason I was nervous and sweaty.

And an intrusive thought came up: ‘This is a special day. This is the first day of the year. This is the beginning of a new decade.’ Its interruption was sudden, but it did not stay long.

And my mind wandered back, to different years and differrent cities. I thought of my missing friend, who returns at the end of every year, who accompanies the beginning of every new one.

And I still had not moved. I tried lifting my head. The rhythm changed while my eyes moved from one object to another. I noticed my water bottle, my favorite.

And my throat began to itch. My tongue, stuck to my palate, tasted like sand. The saliva I swallowed, thick and sluggish, made me nauseous.

And I reached for my watter bottle, my favorite. The first movement of the year, of the decade.

And after putting the bottle back on the nightstand, I turned around. She was still there. Curled up, facing away from me. I nudged her a bit, to gauge how fast asleep she was.

And I wanted to cover the distance. I said: ‘I’m sorry. I don’t know what last night was about.’ It only made me more confused. My heart was still pumping. I could smell my own sweat.

And I remembered some words, but I had forgotten whose. To not let the sun go down over any unresolved discord. I did not know what to do with these words, now that the light shone through the blinds.

And when I closed my eyes again, I felt the breeze of the ceiling fan, as it hummed that rhythm on my skin.