I Will Be the Ghost
Anne Murphy Garrity

I imagined the past and that was fine. The old bathroom renovations rumbled below me. There were sounds like breaking teeth, but it was just sledgehammer on old tile. I saw the swirling pattern of the old tub—green and white like a peppermint. I saw no tub at all. I saw the man with his ledger and his dark fingers. I heard the breath of the woman who gave birth in the corner. I fell to the old height of the house through cold, acrid air. Sinking further, I felt pines around and through me, the scrape of frost. I went far enough, then back again.

Then I pushed forward, tumbling, but I got stuck. I saw the new windows, heard the shuffling of shoes and some unwieldy piece of new furniture scratching the laminate. I gathered that your first name is Kevin, and that your last name is some long, train wreck of consonants that short-circuits my brain when I try to repeat it to myself: Schnibizniuk, Sihbemznian, Shhhben…fuck it.

I saw your less-than-impressive futuristic toenail fungus and your sex in the shower with that sulking redhead. I saw your crying on the toilet, and those horrible dolphin window decals you will put up— they’re bad even if they’re ironic, mister.

You were floating in the tub, just as I am, with your big white belly up, and you had no idea I was right there. You just let out a fart and a sigh and let your head sink low. That was too much to bear. I will be the ghost that haunts the water, Kevin. I’ll pour all over; I’ll get into your ears. You’ll never get me out.

Anne Murphy Garrity has degrees from Hunter College and New York University. She works as a registered nurse, and lives with her husband and daughter in New York. Her fiction has appeared in Monkeybicyle and is forthcoming in Paper Darts magazine.