The dog licks me awake. It’s dark in the living room except for a patch of streetlight from the window. I call his name. No response.
My temples throb. I shuffle to the kitchen for caffeine.
Where is he? After lunch, he made me a cup of hot chocolate, said something about going out to buy cigarettes. Don’t remember anything after that.
The Keurig he bought last month is gone. Coffee pods in the drawer, gone. The six pack of lager beer in the fridge, gone. On the counter, beside the fridge, sits the tin of hot-chocolate powder. Beside the tin, the bottle of my prescription sleeping pills.
My stomach is queasy. I vomit in the sink, watch the liquid chocolate speckled with lunch macaroni whorl down the hole after my fingers hit the garbage disposal switch.
“When a man leaves,” Ma used to say, “he’s probably searching for home.”
Whatever road he takes—I-90, I-88, I-55—may he never find home.
Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar is an Indian American. She was born in a middle-class family in India and will forever be indebted to her parents for educating her beyond their means. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. You can find her on Twitter @PunyFingers.