The dry ingredients

Our kids — by the end of this story, there are two of them — are still small. I’m living in Cleveland where my partner has a job. Night is falling.

Whirr: whirr: whirr: the clothes tumble in the washing machine, and each time they go around, a crackling noise rises up the basement stairs, while serpents of dark air coil round my ankles. A whistling siren is barely audible over the rushing night, more felt than seen. Cars pass our house again, again, again, hidden behind the blinds that hide us from the neighbors. The living room is so still, since I’m downstairs while my partner, Talia, finishes bedtime. I don’t have to cook tonight; I only have to reheat leftovers. The washing machine changes to a new cycle, loudly dumping out water into the basement sink, and then shifting to a whir. It’s Friday night and it’s lonely.

You feel like the dry ingredients mixed in a bowl waiting for the wet ingredients to be poured over you and transform you into a cake.

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