Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

February 5, 2009 at 11:59 PM, posted February 5, 2009 at 11:59 PM

I awoke in the morning out of breath, paranoid. Something was holding the shelf to the wall. I listened, but still could not understand even my own language. I turned. It all happened again.

I awoke in the morning out of breath, almost wanting to be out of breath. Something was holding me down, my shoulders pressed to the mattress like a wrestler's at the end of a losing match. Pin. Uncle. I turned. I stopped it.

I awoke in the morning out of breath, paranoid and wanting to rush, but slowly made my way through my morning toilet. The shower seemed to rain down on me in cinematic slow motion. I was pinned down, my back against the tiles, with the water on me in uneven bursts of unwelcome morning. Visual bird calls, scary and unbelievable--the fierce shriek of a blue jay in the autumn, even though I knew it was mid-February. The blue jay knew too, but kept on shrieking. The nightmare gave way to

the reality of me walking on the street to avoid the neglected sidewalks of unfriendly Amity Street. I shrieked like a blue jay as I slipped into the subway, took my seat, and closed my eyes.

That's how people grow up, my stalker murmured in my ear. My stomach's in knots just telling you this.

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