The first thing I saw when I woke up on the cold tile floor of Steven Corman’s bathroom was a moving amber object. I was unsure of the time, whether I had been curled up here for hours or years.
I sat up and cracked my spine by shifting against the doors of the wooden sink cabinet. Then, I rose slowly, breaking through the heavy layers of the humid air, like Athena splitting the skin of Zeus’s forehead, only much more shamefully. I wiped the crust from the corners of my eyes and grabbed a discarded red solo cup. As I swished lukewarm tap water around in the fuzzy lining of my mouth, the object appeared again.
It was a cockroach, scuttling from the edge of the bathtub toward the shower drain. I imagined it flaring its antennas, rearing up on its little legs, and hissing at me. Cockroaches would probably be a lot more intimidating if they behaved like horses, but they hadn’t learned how to yet.
Yeah, things could be worse, I thought.
Steven’s aging grandpa opened the bathroom door, clad in nothing but a loosely tied bathrobe. He squinted and shook his head, as if to wake himself from a strange dream. Or, a nightmare.
He bit into an Ambrosia apple while eyeing me. Amidst crunches, he asked, “We’re not related, are we?”
“Uh, no,” I said. I grabbed my shell jacket and brushed past him, emerging from the liminal space into the still, bright world.
Robin Bissett is a Teaching Artist and Writer from Central Texas. She enjoys absorbing and sharing stories and strengthening her surrounding literary communities.
Image via Pixabay