Note to world #13

It’s midnight and I’m alone in a cheap hotel in a town far away.

I cannot sleep.

The phone rings and it is my daughter. She wants to hear my voice.

She has been left by herself – again – and she needs me to talk her through the silence – I can hear it in her tiny quiet ‘hello.’ Which I do because I am her mother and I have mastered the art of distracting her from fear and anxiety.

And because there is nothing else I can do, I push aside my anger at her father and focus on topics to occupy the space between me and my daughter.

We talk about nothing until she falls asleep on the other side of the line, soft long sighs stretching across telephone wires.

I hang up and stare at the scratchy chintz comforter until the flowers take the shape of my sharp anger.

I cannot sleep.

I cannot sleep.

And then all at once I am waking up to a frosty morning in a cheap hotel in a town far away.

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