They’re hunting for something, some way of fulfilling a spell.
What kind of spell?
The releasing of The Babadook into and through the grey room.
What is the grey room?

I was totally invested in ello. I told myself I was going to give it all I had, and I did. I gave it my spiritual life – the life of literature. Today, where am I? What have I achieved?

All I have to do is settle in and begin. I can’t leave the room. I don’t know where the room is and where it ends. This is a special assortment of users. That is a special assortment of users. The most important thing to do is load paper into the roller, and then feed it through the keys. Keep the machine unlimbered. Keep it well oiled with action. Look to the door for inspiration. When you have dishes, make sure to do them.

These are the keys to my success.

“It’s like this goes above us. It’s bigger than us. Bigger than The Babadook.” “I know.” he says. “The Babadook is a shadow creature. Something Schnitzel, or the foundries he’s working for, seems to have summoned to prevent us from pursuing the path we have begun walking down.”

There we were, up prayer bound, laughing lightning so long as there was a certain, undefinable magic evident. The Beta Team. Don’t you hear me calling? F-y0u for going all the way, out there, wet and wild on the razor’s edge, doing the dance the way we had it back when we had a way of accepting the cool of the cat, alive or dead, with the feeling that James Bond gets better sitting up on the altar of his untimely grave, making wayves for the day Mickey Mouse once felt the love of my life, the light of the world, being kept in his cage all through a dark and holded sun tan, the son of god making waves for us all to keep the spirit of The West alive with the way we wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and made our way in the ninte t9nibrtwnhyewctwhaenrytwndi9ewtn  erlitcw rgeno9ufrhbeirn owhgnew she rhr kniwfpner uynian feoinf n\sinoe arrionai neq9ho hs rh9wgh t????rhoufhra foinf qnhinxe9h kwpr xheliw9x pekwe ll rhe9oufh rhw doeiwa rheir9ywa qwnriwa q9hwnwcwe ehyw q..

I am Ashby, holding space in this land of Fiction.

We have hardly even started. Hawaii has slipped from the horizon.

I am lee, cuffs around my wrists, cheap cigarette between my lips.

“When we gonna switch these paper cups out for something a little more ceramic?”

I am the MultiForm, testing the bounds of what is possible, slick wet dancing upon the razor’s edge.

I am the unreliable narrator, and this is all my design.

I am in the middle of a war zone, waiting to talk to a banker about my credit score. I have a small French roast brewed from a machine sitting on the coffee table in front of me in a paper cup with a plastic lid which I folded a flap back and tucked into itself.

I am in Omaha

I dreamed my dog was pooping off the side of a cliff and then he fell off. I rushed up to him and he was lying on his back. I was afraid he hurt himself. I was afraid he would have poop on his back.

We dropped the poop bag full of dog food on the ground outside the truck. It was tied with a hair band. Musette said it was a week’s worth. We collected it in her new, long, black coat which Cozette gave her. It looks so good on her, but it probably smells like dog food now. It was so perfect for new York.

Lirpa and Pringles are planning on meeting. They chat all the time. They speak on the phone. They really might get married.

I am watching The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst on HBO. Musette is watching chef videos on her phone. My eyeball is so red. We are in Omaha. I have decided that maybe I just like the company of myself the most. But I decided that a long while ago.

I’ve been vaping this blu cigarette a lot. I hope I don’t get glycerin coughs.

The bathroom here smells incredibilly like cigarettes. There is a stain on the chair I am writing on. The room only cost thirty five dollars, plus an eleven dollar pet fee, and taxes.

I don’t want things to feel old hat. Things must be changed up.

Musette gets coffee for me. She puts a lot of artificial creamer in it. It tastes like graham crackers.

We drive to Arby’s and order three jr. roast beef. One ham and cheddar. A large Curly Fry. And some Mozarella sticks with all of the sauces.

Musette orders a chocolate turnover once we’ve already paid. I end up eating all of it though.

The girl at the motel desk is black. She is wearing a dew rag.

“We have a dog.” Musette says.

“That will be eleven dollars.”

We had already booked on Expedia. She has to run another transaction.

She gives us our key. Our room number is the same number as our apartment in Portland.

We get a Blu Cigarette at Flying J. The woman behind the counter is looking at a large stuffed animal with her daughter. Some young man brought it to her. There are a bunch of them all over the shelves. Most of them have huge eyes.

She sees that our id’s are from Oregon. She asks if we are moving. We tell her we are moving to New York. She asks if we’ve been there before. We tell her we have.

She asks if we like the big city.

We tell her that we do.

“I’m more of a small town gal myself.” she says.

The moon rises red against Quicklike’s song coming on over the radio.

“Are you Lestrade?” I ask, leaning forward, whispering into the speaker.

I dreamed we decided to move to Paris. I hadn’t even been in New York long enough to know anything about it. The flight played the Vacation movie with Chevy Chase in it. I didn’t have time to pack, because I had a substitute boss. Musette was already at the ariport in Paris. All of her chef friends were there with her. They smoked weed around a table, holding onto the joint with a large clip. They passed it to me and I pretty much destroyed it trying to repack it. I couldn’t figure out where to go once I got out to the streets. The place we were staying was a little depot of rooms, connected.

I don’t know how quickly this sickness is planning on passing. Everyone is lapping me. My mucus is thick and dark. It’s giving me a headache. I can’t imagine this is good for my lungs, I feel like they’re right about ready to drop out the bottom of my ribs.

Musette’s mom takes us to the mall. Victoria gets jeans at Forever 21. Musette looks at these saggy hats which will hold all of her hair in them. We look at the hats for over a half an hour. She keeps asking us which color we like best. Gina wants her to get a white one. I want her to get a grey one. She doesn’t end up getting any.

My dad drives us home with my mom in the passenger seat. My sister and her husband have left to go to his parents’ house. I give them hugs before they leave. I figure this might be the last time I ever see them.

As I am saying goodbye to my grandma, she starts crying. Her face further distorts. As my grandpa was dying he couldn’t remember who my mom was. My grandma always tells me how I was his favorite.

She gets in the car and waves goodbye with a smile. It is like a camera flash on her face.

I keep looking back at my parents’. It is not the last time I will see them on this trip.

Musette does not want to stay here all night. She is making plans to hang out with her family all throughout the game. I tell my parents that we need to go.

“Don’t you want to wait for the cobbler?” my dad asks.

“I do.”

My mom goes upstairs and scoops it. It tastes like warm fruity pebbles with vanilla ice-cream on top. This is a final meal. New York is approaching with the Penske truck continuing.

I’m still so tired from this sickness. It is keeping me up at night: my throat itching, large amounts of mucus globbing from my nose and up my throat. Kafka died so young. I hope I don’t have pneumonia. I know it killed one of the presidents, but goddamn for the life of me if I can ever remember which one.

We are having pot roast for dinner. I requested it. My mom asked me what I wanted. It’s what I always answer.

After dinner we go downstairs and play a game on my sister’s husband’s xbox. It’s a trivia game by the creators of You Don’t Know Jack.

My grandma doesn’t play, even though she has her ipad with her. She is a Words With Friends Addict. Musette’s mom is a Words with Friends addict also. We get my grandma’s username to give to Musette’s mom.

Beast Rebels of the Hellscape

My grandma is old and dying. My mom warned me that she would look frailer than I might remember, but she looks bulkier because of the jacket she is wearing. She doesn’t have her cane. Her face is distressed. That is new. Her stories are getting mixed up in her mouth. At one point, during dinner, she says she saw London’s crown jewels in Paris.

“They aren’t in Paris, Grandma.”

I can do better than this, I say, falling asleep in a valley of farm hands. Chris lives here, ashamed. The frontrunner has gone home. Her fantasy fell apart on her. Bladed Days.

I wake through a thick lining of green mucus. It is Sunday. Musette is in bed with no pants. I am in the chair next to her, typing. The words spill from page to page. They’re jamming up the wrong places, scattering in the flow.

This haze is heavy on my head. It’s like I’m a blind cat with its eyeballs scooped out, walking through Insidious fog. The typewriter has become an entirely different sort of machine. The way to use it is different. The ways to use it are many and varied. I am practicing Jeet kun do, following the rhythm of the flow.

I’m standing here, the fog sliding around me, slippery.
Dadaism makes a deliberate conscious effort to turn the tables upside down, to show the absolute insanity of our present-day life, the worthlessness of all our values.
My eyeballs have been scooped out. My particles have been pulled apart.
Who is the writer without the audience?
“Do you think you are some sort of celebrity? That you have world renowned international fame?”
Two Chains is bound to his chains as they are to him.

I have to make this resume, so that I can maybe get a job as a writer in New York; and I have no idea what that is going to entail – compromise, as Henry Miller might put it; but how can I be a fully present writer in the current times while leaving this new form or careering out of the question?

America: here we are.
Here I am, a Lone wolf.
It is a better place to be. Floating and being torn, tortured like Dostoevsky.
Piper told me she hopes I am enjoying Vanity Fair. I do not tell her that I lost my place in it.
I had begun reading Pop Serial. My name is nowhere to be found.
What is my name?
What are we once our names fade away?
Who are you when you are no longer a trip friend?
Where is Galaxim? Has he made that transition?

This is the direction and the point in the story where we keep moving forward. We have written books. You can see them all down the lining of my sight. I am moving beyond the black dot. There are so many good images on the internet. My handwriting is on the internet. My music is on the internet.
I have read about Mrs. Crawley and her sirloins of beef so many times now. Will I ever find my place again?

Do you think you have the power to slow it down?
This may be a suit of water, and the gift of this moment may very well be Jeet kun do.

The woman who owns the restaurant works there all the time. My dad thinks he has a personal relationship with her – like he’s a cowboy learning an exotic culture from a pioneering native.

He calls her by her first name.

There is a large heater at the end of the table. Musette sits next to it. My sister’s husband wants to sit next to it, because he is a heat monger like me, and gets cold every time the door to the restaurant opens,  but for some reason he and Musette don’t switch seats, even though Musette doesn’t want to sit next to the heater.

I order a red chicken curry, but the woman who owns the restaurant says that the yellow curry is the restaurant’s number one seller, so I get that instead. My sister’s husband also orders this. Musette orders a green curry. It is spicier than my yellow curry. I did not expect that. I thought everything increased in spiciness from green, to yellow, to red.

My sister orders sweet and sour pork.

“Just like Panda Express.” I say.

“You can’t bring someone to a restaurant and then get mad at them for ordering what they like.” my mom says.

My mom orders the salad. My dad orders a pumpkin curry and another salad for the table so we all can try it. Musette likes the salad, but she doesn’t say anything, because she is getting upset. My family is talking in a mock Thai accent. My sister and her husband are not excited about eating the food. They would rather have Cafe Rio.

Musette thinks they are closed minded. She tells me later. But what she was most upset about was how they made fun of our marriage:

“They don’t see it as a real thing, because we didn’t get married in the temple. We’re not perfect for their heavenly family like your sister and her husband!”

She doesn’t want to go to their house tomorrow. We are supposed to see my grandma.

“We don’t have a choice.” I say.

“You might be surprised at how frail she is now.” my mom warns me in regards to her.

We leave the bowling alley. Musette and I get in my mom’s car; my sister and her husband get in my sister’s husband’s car.

My parents are going to Thai Land at the end of the month with friends from their ward. It is not a mission. I asked them. One of the women they are going with buys cheap trips on some deal site. Last year the group went somewhere just outside of Syria. My parents didn’t go on this trip.

They are taking us to a Thai restaurant. There are two different restaurants they are consider taking us to. They choose one over the other because it serves a mango salad they like.

We drive past the other restaurant on the way to this one.

“We are learning how to make it at a Thai family’s house.” my mom tells me.

“Make what?” i ask.

“The salad.”

Bowling Alley

The bowling alley is a redneck hive. There are posters with graphics of Utah plastered to the back of every lane. Mullets connected to men who are wearing flannel shirts with the sleeves torn off and wicker cowboy hats with strings dangling beneath their chins hover over Budweiser pitchers. There is a whole table of women with both pitch black and bleached blonde Paula Deen hair styles harboring teenage latinas who are clacking their long nails against their phone screens while scrolling through friends feeds.

The interior looks like the inside of a church. It is plain, pastel, and blocky. The doors are made of light wood. This same wood trims the walls. It is a wood common to the church. My parents once got me a furniture set from The Bishop’s Storehouse which was made of this type of wood.

The Bishop’s Storehouse is a warehouse that sells large amounts of furniture which once belonged in churches or church related facilities.

There is a laser tag area located behind one of these lightly wooded doors. It is mine themed. The doors are painted to look like a mine entrance. It is a cheap looking decoration, hand made, like something my mom would make, being that she is in charge of the homemaking department in her ward.

There are some good looking video games. The one that most catches my eye is a game called Alien Armageddon. It has two rifles attached to the front of it. From the demos it looks as though the aliens have invaded Earth in large numbers. They are jumping from the rafters of ships, landing on people and crashing the ships into Earth by making them pilotless.

There are a couple of basketball shooters decorated with the Utah Jazz logo. An attractive mother is playing on one of them with her son. She has blonde hair with dark streaks in it. She is wearing a little black cardigan with a pink shirt underneath. Her son is walking in the netted off area where the balls roll down.

All the boys working behind the counter have red crew cuts and acne. They are wearing black polo shirts. There is one girl who says that Musette is an hour fast because she sees her watch is still set to Pacific time. I thought she was making a joke about how long it was taking the red headed soda jerk to fill our large fountain drinks.

I’ve never had as many large fountain drinks as I’ve had on this trip. It’s good to get them while driving in the moving truck, because there aren’t many opportunities to stop; but people get them all the time here, possibly because they never know when their next trip to the gas station is going to take place, and they love drinking soda so much more than water, even though water is all your body really needs as far as liquids are concerned.

These sodas are only making life harder on us. What are the benefits? Taste? The tingling effect of the carbonation? Is it worth it?

I got a rootbeer. It cost 2.50. My mom bought it. She bought everyone’s drinks. Musette got a Mellow Yellow. My sister and her husband both got sprite.

My mom wrote her initials on the lid of her cup. I don’t know what she got, but she was probably trying to avoid getting whatever Musette and I have. It is a good thing she did what she did, because I grabbed her drink once, lifted it to my face, and would have started drinking it had I not seen those initials.

Musette kept wanting to get cheese fries, but I kept keeping her from getting them, because the plan is to get Thai food later.

My sister brought her own ball. It is pink and black and the finger holes are lined with pink rubber. Our grandma got it for her. Our grandma is a competitive bowler. She goes to tournaments all around the country. Her son, my uncle, has bowled three perfect games. He has a ring. It’s a pretty big deal.

We pay for an hour. It costs my mom something like over thirty dollars. It is one of two ways to pay. You can also pay by the game.

I am entered first on the list. My dad is entered last. He enters a false name for himself. Everyone else is using their real name.

On my first bowl I roll the ball into the gutter. The second throw doesn’t go much better.

Musette is second in line. She always lobs the ball. It goes up in the air and then thuds back onto the lane before rolling into the pins.

My sister wins the first game. Musette says she has the most proper form. I bowl in a one handed sort of way. People say I could be reading a book with my other hand. My sister’s husband bowls in the strangest way. He holds the ball from underneath, cradling it like a baby. I don’t think he puts his fingers in any of the holes. I dont know where he learned this technique. It seems very unconventional.  It produces a radical curving effect, which seems pretty unreliable. Sometimes the ball curves right into the gutter. I don’t really understand how a curve ball is supposed to help your game, but a lot of people aim for the effect. My grandma throws a curveball. Her method is much more conventional. She puts her fingers in the holes. She has given both my sister and her husband lessons. She told my sister’s husband that his form was bad. She said you are supposed to be able to bowl while sitting on the couch.

Musette takes pictures from the side of the lane, getting action shots of all us. There is no one on the lane to our right. It is the last lane in the alley. Number 26.

Our hour runs up just a few bowls into a second game. I ask my mom if it was more cost effective buying by the game or by the hour. She can’t remember.

She goes to get us another game. While she is gone this wild pack of young girls gets on lane twenty six. There are at least sixteen of them. They just keep coming. They investigate all of the balls we have in our combined ball dock. We have a lot of them. There is a size eleven with large finger holes, which I was using at first, before I moved to a size ten with large finger holes. Both Musette and I use this ball. It is orange colored and there are these weird, blackened indentations in the finger hole area. They look like they were burnt into the ball.

We just sit there, waiting for my mom. Our lane darkens. There is a long line waiting to get lanes.

“It’s too late…” Musette says, leaving our area with her large Mellow Yellow.

The girls are taking over.

My dad is twiddling his thumbs.

“Do not leave!” my sister yells, running back to us. “Mom got it!”

The lane lights back up.

The girls are shocked. Distress fills their faces. Their moms huddle to converse. One of them breaks away, approaching the counter.

“I’m moving the girls to another lane!” she says.

They need more than one. There are so many young girls…

Alone again, we start our next game.

“Did you pay for the hour or for the game?” I ask.

My mom doesn’t remember.

My sister’s husband enters our names. I am first on the list again. I approach.

‘I’m going to do better this time.’ I tell myself, impressed with how well I did last game.

The first ball drops directly into the gutter. The second ball clears most of the pins from the back row.

I give my dad a shrug of the shoulders.

During Musette’s turn another group gets on lane twenty six. They are competitive bowlers. They each have their own ball. One of the guys looks familiar, but I can’t place him.

My sister looks back at us with a hushed voice saying not to bowl at the same time as them.

“Did they say something?” I ask.

“No. It’s just the courteous thing to do.”

We clear as many balls as we can from the trough. The competitive bowlers have a pitcher of beer. Having them next to us throws everything off. We don’t talk as much as we had been. The spirit dies. We are less jovial. Our heads are swiveling like chickens’. We are self conscious.

The competitive bowlers become slower the drunker they get. We just stand there, waiting for them to make their turn.

The lane shuts off once our game is over.

“You must have paid by the game this time.” I say to my mom. “I am glad. I want to get away from them.”

“It’s really too bad they showed up…” she said.

We take all the rest of our balls to the trough and drop our shoes off at the desk.

We make plans to go to the truck and unload things which will be staying here with her mom. There is a little kennel and parts to an ice cream maker. Musette wanted to sort through everything in the truck to find out what we would be taking to the sublease with us and what we will be stashing in the storage unit, but I told her I don’t think it is necessary because we will be having to go through everything anyway once we get to the storage shed.

I take Carlos out. There is a U Haul backed up to the building. It looks like a sixteen footer.

Carlos poops. All his poops have been small and stringy. I think it has something to do with his anxiety. He hasn’t been eating much. We also haven’t been mixing his ground food into his kibble since we’ve been on the road.

My parents want to take us to this McFarland movie. It has Kevin Costner acting as a track coach. We don’t end up going though, because my dad decides he would rather go bowling.

The big dog and our little one growl at each other. The two little ones growl with each other.

All of the dogs want attention. They each have their own individual personalities.

Musette is upset that we are the ones who have to make the plans today.

“They might want to go to the aquarium.” I say.

It doesn’t sound fun, to us, because we’re sick, but it kind of does.

I’ve been using too many exclamation marks in my conversations with my parents. But I’ve also been saying I do this and that wrong too many times.

The professor says I’m brilliant, and I’m working to accept that more wholeheartedly. Sometimes, because I didn’t go to college, it is difficult; but when I accept the fact that I am pursuing a writing career, being whatever today’s novelist or poet or this new profession which is emerging and only possible now that the age of the internet has arrived, my brilliance becomes easier to accept.

Musette asks if I want to get in the shower, and I tell her that I am making coffee, and that it is just about done, “All I have to do is go over there and press it.”

She is feeling sick like me. I keep blowing my nose. There is thick mucus in my throat.

I put cream and sugar in both our cups. Her cup is blue and I prefer it over mine which is holiday. Hers is rounder than mine.

I ask her how it is. She says it is so good.

I tell her it is good for a sick child, but I’m not sure if it really is.

It does make me feel better though.

The water boils on the stovetop. I get up and pour it into the french press.

My sister says that they will eat lunch and then we can get together later.

I tell her that is fine.

Musette wants to make sure we get done everything that we need to be getting done while still hanging out with people.

I ask my sister what she wants to do.

She says anything, and asks if there is anything we want to do.

I tell her that I want to go to Thai food later.

She says ew.

My mom enters the conversations, saying “Yes! Thai food tonight.” she tells my sister that she’ll find something she likes.

The little girl dog is barking. Carlos starts barking. They are low, little under the breath barks.

Musette leans forward and I can see that she is looking at pictures of the dress.

She says that she just doesn’t see it.

My sister calls, asking if we are awake, and if we want to go to lunch.

I tell her that we just woke up.

She asks if we need a while.

I tell her I think we do.

Itinerary

My mom and sister are now fifty minutes late to picking us up. I look up writing/editing jobs on Craigslist.

Musette is planning the itinerary for our trip:

Salt Lake to North Plate = 9 1/2 hours.

North Plate to Davenport; right on the border Iowa and Illinois = 8 hours and 30 minutes (driving) – does not include stops.

We’re not sightseeing.

We cannot handle eleven hour days, so instead of a three day trip we are doing a four day trip.

Gina asks if we need to look up hotels ahead of time.

Musette says that the main thing is that they need to accept dogs.

The last one is Cleveland to right outside New York. So that way we wake up early on the fifth day. Be close enough to New York so that we are only an hour out, but outside the city. An hour out of New York. Wake up early, there relatively quick.

Drive to storage space, unpack, drop off stuff we want at the apartment, and drop off truck by four.

Musette feels that all of that can be done in one day.

Mustache Curl

My mustache hairs are curling over my lips. Musette wants to cut them. I tell her it is a fine idea, but I don’t think it is something I would do myself. I may have shaved by now, but I don’t think I would have the dignity to trim the hairs.

Grooves of the Fourth Dick

I know that we are walking this same world together, but there are different realities. Some of us are grooved into this underlying wealth and education; some are misogynistically crass. Some have double dicks, some have three vaginas and a new sexual organ. If you’ve never seen the movie, Rise of the Fourth Dick, then you are probably new to all the medical advancements in the field of multiorificial penetration.

Fashion Class

I changed my profile picture. It feels good. It was supposed to be a .gif, but I guess I can get over the fact that it’s not. I see other gifs on twitter, but there are people who know things that I don’t, like how to insert strange characters into their usernames which I have no idea how to do.

I like to be the smartest person in the room, but I’m usually not. It doesn’t matter all that much though. The whole reason I got into this is to write. That’s what I’ve set up to set me apart. I thought the black dot would simplify things, but I can only see it leading to more unnecessary battles. There are so many black dots in the world. It’s not what I want to be known for.

I am phasing, testing success. I am teasing success, tasting success. I am a phaser.

Things come in repeats. I want to be where I want to be, letting myself fall into place. The perfect text editor for every situation. It’s all part of the case. It’s about being fashionable, I tell myself as I walk the streets, head tilted forward, mumbling.

Is this fashion? Is this style? Can you say that it is class? I am one of your brightest students?

Gina puts the big golden in his kennel. I give Carlton a little more food.

Victoria gave Musette a golden crown which I took because I packed my pink one away.

I gave Musette my little cough. She will probably give it to the rest of her family.

Matthew gives Cozette the dick. We could all swap dicks and puss. Twinning. Am-I-right?

I don’t know if I’m right, but I am following my skin.

The reason we love girls’s faces involved with sex acts is because we love girls’s faces so much, and faces are so vitally connected to our identities. They are so much more gratifying to defile. It’s why cumshots are so popular. Watching a girl’s face get cummed on is the ultimate conquering of her soul, besides of course planting a baby in her belly, but that can also be the ultimate conquering of your own soul, and sometimes it can be the exact thing the girl wants.

I Think You Gave Me Your Little Cough

Everyone is out in the living room looking at Musette’s new clothes which her twin, Cozette, gave to her. They are hand me downs. But they are nice. It is the way it has always been.

We ate enchiladas at Cozette’s. Her husband is named Matthew. They live together in a house by the lake which Mathew built. If he didn’t build it, he sure put a lot of work into it. His family is a plumbing company.

The house is heated via a series of pipes running beneath the floor. There is a large mainframe in the basement. Matthew had a different word for the mainframe, something like ‘caulunder’. Every time I’ve seen him in the past, he has complained about being a plumber and not following his dreams; but now that he’s an adult, building his own house, he doesn’t seem so depressed by his job. I think he wanted to be a rockstar; but now that he has built his own house, he is probably the only one of his group of friends who can afford a band room.

Here comes the roughness. A Mobius Strip.

There are a lot of suicides lining the path.

My sister lives in the basement of some other family. Musette’s sister lives in her own house which her plumber husband built for her and filled one of its rooms with band equipment.

Even the platform has fallen out. We are floating, but are we flying. If nothing else, we are denying reality. But are we defying it?

Soon they will be having babies. I might have a baby. The conveyor belt is rolling. I have a cough. My stomach is full of gas. I just can’t let it fly. I’m sitting on a folded out futon. There are three dogs in the room. One of the dogs barks at the television. One of them is lying next to me. The other is walking around and picking up the London socks. The London socks were a gift from Victoria. That is what we need to call her now. Forget her old name. I have forgotten by now the name I gave her for her old name. Now she is only Victoria to us.

Victoria is in her room. Gina is walking around. This is like Bladed Days all over again. Here I am, sucking in the scene and translating it into letters. This can help me move forward. The sound I make as I type: it is a music, especially when I have other music playing in the background. The dance my hands do as they run over the keys makes me happy.

I can connect to you in many ways, but this is my room, where I can dance and sing in some degree of privacy. I live here. I have designed this as much as I could.

The television is playing a show about rye balls being rolled around in mesh baskets into overhead proofers. We try to connect to Netflix, but the Playstation requires a system update. It is not our Playstation. It is not a Playstation 4. It is a Playstation 3, and it belongs to Victoria. I think it used to belong to Chuck, but he gave it to Victoria as a Christmas or birthday present.

Musette say, “I think you gave me your little cough.”

“Even if you do have my little cough, you’ll probably get over it by the time you start your stage.” I say. “I guess we should probably study and stuff. I need to look up jobs on Craigslist.”

She tells me to make a list of things I have to do if I have energy.

“I don’t have energy. I haven’t had any since I got sick.”

“My throat is starting to bother me.” she says.

“That’s how it started with me.”

“Do you have any medicine?” she asks her mom. “I want banana bread.”

“I don’t have banana bread.” her mom tells her. “Scott ate it after I told him about it. He missed out on the last batch.”

She has to take Chauncey out.