The Social Worker Says I’m Hallucinating, But . . .

by | Apr 11, 2023 | Fiction, Issue Thirty-Two

the pattern of empty footsteps creaking the floorboards outside the hallway of my bedroom door? my son screams even when he’s not home? When I open all the doors, and let in the cold, for the cat that keeps singing, what no-thing am I inviting? Once, I saw what looked like the farmer in American Gothic behind me in the bathroom mirror. I told my mother these are hallucinations: the fist-sized spider tearing my pillow, my childrens’ blue faces, the bed shaking, the man; the man beside my bed in the dark, the mutilated toddler I threw a glass at, that one hand in church at the cusp of my back. Orange light spilled out of my mother as she said, “But the old man in the mirror. You described my father perfectly.”

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