Issue #68

Fall 2018


by Mary Thompson

I am no longer me

Another old fool has fallen for me but when he leans in for a kiss, I keep my mouth shut so all I can feel are his dry, purposeful lips. Maybe next time when I am not me any more, I'll have a real relationship. I will be in another body then so the person I am right now won't remember the past. When I think about that, it doesn't make me happy but it doesn't make me sad either, it's just a non-feeling sort of a thing. Like this man who leans over and kisses me and I keep my mouth shut the whole time thinking, it's not time yet, and soon he will go, but he'll be back, and when he is, I'll let him kiss me properly. Only he never comes back, I just wake up. And when I do, I think, almost, I almost caught that one. But I always almost catch them. They're like flies, but those flies that somehow manage to escape.

he is no longer him

My dad is out watching the latest James Bond film and the whole time I am lying on my blue beanbag absorbed in a documentary about endangered animals in Africa and not thinking about my dad being out at the film, but at around 10.30, I hear him breathing heavily as he climbs the stairs, then the living room door opens and he is there. He enjoyed the film, he says, and smiles, but now it is time to sleep. I wonder where he'll sleep. Then I remember that he sleeps on my bean bag. It is easy for him now as he is dead, so he can sleep anywhere; comfort is no longer an issue and he doesn't need Mum there any more. Besides, she has remarried and she doesn't know that Dad is doing things like going out on his own to watch movies at big cinemas in the centre of London. He never did those things before, at least not when they were married. I worry momentarily about him being warm enough, but then I realise that those things don't matter when you are dead.

Author Bio


Mary Thompson lives in London, where she works as a freelance teacher. Her work has recently been shortlisted, longlisted and published in various journals and competitions including Flash 500, Fish Short Memoir, Ink in Thirds, Retreat West, Reflex Fiction, Flashflood, Ellipsis Zine, the Cabinet of Heed, Memoir Mixtapes, Atticus Review, Spelk, Firewords and Fictive Dream, and is forthcoming at Funicular Magazine. She is a first reader for Craft Literary Journal.