Unsettling.

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The house sloughs off years, slowly exfoliating stuff and dust from every corner. In the middle of the night, I wake up from dreams just turning into nightmares. A cat is crying at the garage door, or shifting around and around in a slow circle, unable to get comfortable.

My right shoulder aches. I must be sleeping on it funny, but I never wake up on my side.

I went to see a movie by myself. The last time I remember doing that was almost eight years ago. That movie was much better than this one, but the Junior Mints were just as sweet.

When I wake up like this, I hear raccoon scuffles, shrill growls demanding obeisance. Our yard, soon to be just the yard, is contested territory.

The entire house is contested territory. Emptiness reclaims whole rooms, swelling and settling. I recycle the box of mints, borrow a glass of water, extinguish lights as I go. Finally there is no restless movement, no sound but the foghorns. Just when I crave a signal, a shriek, a sigh, a symbol — I hear nothing but a dull note as I eavesdrop on the tide.