The Steel Baby

I woke up from a semi heart-wrenching dream this morning. I was a little girl, playing in a living room. It wasn’t a familiar room to me.

(I must have manufactured it from memories my mother had told me about: She said when my dad committed suicide, she had returned to the apartment and his walls were covered with pictures of me.)

There I sat, on the carpet. My dad walked in the door. He looked tired, rugged, worn out. I clutched onto a stuffed animal he had given me- Topaz the wolf. I had been coloring pictures for him to decorate his fridge with.

There was an uncomfortable silence. With a small voice, I asked, “Dad, why aren’t you here anymore?”

Through a foreign gaze, he replied, “I’ll show you why.”

He grabbed my arm, pulled out a pouch, and sat next to me on the floor. He pushed a heroin needle into my vein. The stuffed animal fell from my grasp and I collapsed into the dirt-footed carpet. I opened my eyes wide and stared at the ceiling fan beating overhead. Foomp, foomp, foomp…

“Relax,” he whispered, “You’ll sleep in a moment.”

Foomp, foomp, foomp.

We died. All of a sudden, I was looking down from the ceiling fan, onto our bodies. My stuffed animal just inches away from my fingertips, his gun and needle centimeters from his reach. Sirens.

Happy Father’s Day.

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