My mind’s packed with clouds, dark roads, endless water. Losing names, losing facts, like a half-filled sieve. And yet the mind’s not supposed to go. I point Nicole to the elevator, and we step in.
When she was nearly asleep, she heard voices far upstream, male voices, chanting, as if from the dawn of history. Deep, primeval. The Men were performing the rituals of manhood. But the little farts in the night were nearer and dearer.
“The complexities of the human spirit intrigue me. Sometimes we believe we are working towards one goal when in fact we are up to something else entirely. I think of these as shadow rooms in the homes of our souls.”
I had just enough experience working with teenagers to know they’re merciless bullshit detectors. I also remembered how my classmates and I had treated some of our teachers—teachers who would now be my colleagues.
She had wanted nothing more than to live here. Now, chewed up wads of pink, yellow, and white gum stuck to the walls provided a mountainous landscape for roaches that had taken up residence in all the cracks they could find along the forgotten, once white walls. No one noticed.