What do you think?
Rate this book
131 pages, ebook
First published June 20, 2017
To sleepwalk is to be inhabited, yes, but not by something else, so much. What you’re inhabited by, what’s kicking one foot in front of the other, it’s yourself. It doesn’t make sense, but I don’t think it’s under any real compulsion to, finally. If anything, being inhabited by yourself like that, what it tells you is that there’s a real you squirming down inside you, trying all through the day to pull up to the surface, look out. But it can only get that done when your defenses are down. When you’re sleeping.
I figured that’s maybe what had happened to me the night before—my feet had been asleep but I’d walked on them anyway, into some other . . . not plane, I don’t think, but like a shade over, or deeper, or shallower, where I could see more than I could otherwise.
There was a line of glare in the dead television screen from the lamp and I watched it, blinking as little possible, because as soon as that line of light broke, that was going to mean something had passed between me and it. And, if it came from the right, that meant Dad was done with fixing Dino. And if it came from the left, that meant he was just getting started.
Was that I was supposed to do, to save me and Mom? Leave Dino like an offering? Trade him for both of us? None of the cops on my shows would ever do that. Even for the worst criminal. Because of justice. Because of what’s right.
...he was looking across the room like an animal, right into my soul. His eyes shone, not with light but with a kind of wet darkness. The mouth too—no, the lips. And curling up from them was smoke.
Because—I had to say it, just to myself—because he’d been feeding on Dino, I was pretty sure. The wet lips. The empty eyes. Dino’s seizures had started before I’d seen Dad walking across the living room, but that didn’t mean he hadn’t been making that trip for three or four weeks already, then, did it?
I’d never smoked—you need your lungs if you dance—but after that night, I kind of understood why Mom always had. It makes you feel like you have some control. You know it’s bad for you, but you’re doing it on purpose, too. You’re breathing that in of your own volition, because you want to.)
When you don’t have control of anything else, when a car can just go cartwheeling off into the horizon, then to even have just a little bit of control, it can feel good. Especially if you hold that smoke in for a long time, only let it out bit by bit.
I was twelve the first time I saw my dead father cross from the kitchen doorway to the hall that led back to the utility room.