Afghan

She can’t stop. Just like her brother, the alcoholic. He stopped a few times but always went back. And it got worse. He finally gave in and things mellowed out. Still drank, sure, but kept things at consistently heavy rather than inconsistently devastating. Way better. Way better.

At red lights she scoops her bundle of baby yarn. Two skeins, probably. She gets at it. Passes the weightless aluminum hook in and out. It presses against her calloused fingers. Slip knot, cross, loop, grab. Draw and pull. Slip knot, cross, loop, grab. Draw and pull. Look up at the light. Still red. Foot depressed on the brake, talk radio in the speakers. Toss it all on the floor when there’s honking. Sometimes it takes a while.

Her obsession with squares and geometric shapes. Could have done anything. Mathematics, architecture, landscaping. People notice her color but she swears it’s not about color. Strange how she puts them together. A statement, perhaps? A rule-breaker? But it’s routine. This many stitches across, this many stitches down. This many stitches across, this many stitches down. Perfect lines, perfect angles. There’s prayer in every box.

She dreams of being naked in a movie theater, swaddled in an afghan. Goosebumps on her skin are angels and make her feel something. The tip of a kitten’s tongue. Its ghost itches when she wakes up. But it’s all so thick, so far away. Prefect in design and yet, so numb.

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