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Twenty Doors

That's A Lot of Doors

by Keeley Young





When the power goes out in the apartment, I light a candle I unwrapped at Christmas, most likely. My parents are the sort that remember you like something and keep it in clear rotation for gift-giving. The power goes out frequently enough.

When I was dating Rick, about two years ago, the power went out one night. 9pm.

He was beside me in bed, pressing his nose against my cheek. Rick is beautiful. We were an unextraordinary couple. Things switch off or get crushed between fingers and fingernails like you’re working out some anger by crunching a light bulb.

Rick would stare at me in a confused way sometimes.

At the time I just couldn’t afford therapy neither.

I was working for a guy who’d steal me off the job here and there to run an errand with him. Lowkey stuff, like stocking up on steak, sausages, and rissoles for a family barbeque sort of thing, but he would introduce me to the butcher, like I was an important kid, like I was his son. I’m just kidding I never felt like his son, this older bloke with wisps of hair instead of a head of it. One day the errand was going to the hospital with him when his cousin’s daughter gave birth.

I held the camera for a lesbian couple cradling their newborn girl.

Rick made a mountain out of the stomach pain I groaned about once or twice a month.

That was the reason he would glare at me in the thinker pose. No, it wasn’t, Rick, you’re confusing me too…those were the thoughts of then.

The candle sits on a shelf in the bathroom, while I try to relax in a tub of warm water I continue to convince myself isn’t getting dirtier and dirtier the longer I wallow in it.

Normally I love a good thunderstorm.

Candlelight makes you dreary, I think. You start hallucinating a little bit, or that could just be the depression kicking in. That’s not an undersized elephant wearing a leather jacket in the corner, or at least not a live one. That is a statue I bought in New York. Rick would look at that statue and make an assertion about it. Something like: you’re into leather, BDSM, you wear the hell out of a silver chain, but you don’t want to have sex with me.

When I still lived at home, I would go with my folks to display villages. They were always hunting for style ideas, colours of linoleum flooring, kitchen renovation layouts, and cushions.

No place had something so statement-piecey as that damn elephant.

Sometimes when the power is not out in the apartment I don’t even feel like myself.

You’d think the ghosts would all hang around in the darkness but these ones’ parents must have fucked around with moths and they found out what their babies would be like.

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