Rain and a miserable wind make the day dark and wet and sad. She brings burgers home for dinner. We eat in the kitchen with paper plates. What have you done today? she asks. I bow my head. Nothing, I say. I slept ’til noon. I watched the sun disappear behind a bank of clouds.
She works hard and doesn’t understand the lassitude of sadness. Things need doing and sitting all day in bed makes her crazy.
You have to do something, she says. No one’s going to rescue you from this.
Tears wet my eyes. I don’t want to be so sad all of the time. I want to be a woman who gets things down, but even the air is heavy on me. I cannot move.
Tomorrow, she says. Tomorrow we’ll find you a job.
I nod and eat. I’ll go to bed early tonight so I can look for work I won’t be able to do.
William L. Alton was born November 5, 1969 and started writing in the Eighties while incarcerated in a psychiatric prison. Since then his work has appeared in Main Channel Voices, World Audience and Breadcrumb Scabs among others. In 2010, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has published one book titled Heroes of Silence. He earned his both BA and MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where he continues to live.