Walls

Northwest Journals

It started with the jar of loose change, the way the coins glittered in the sun. No matter where I stood in my bedroom, silver and bronze flashes swarmed around me like gnats or doubt. Without thinking, I pushed the jar off my dresser and watched as coins pummeled the floor and the jar shattered. The sound punched a hole into the silence of my childhood home.

I froze, waiting for the bellow of my name through the wall or my father’s heavy steps in the hallway. But my thin house remained still.

Growing up, my parents hoarded quiet like other parents hoarded plastic butter tubs. Mom was an insomniac and Dad worked third-shift, so at least one of them was napping at any point during the day. I wasn’t sure if their lack of reaction meant I was in much worse trouble or if I got away with it…

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