Preview of Unsaid Six: This Is a Jar, by Kayla Blatchley



I wanted to leave before the surgery but I couldn’t leave before the surgery.  I had to wait.  There was a tumor in my boyfriend’s neck.

I met his mother in the waiting room.  She was afraid like he was afraid, of being cut open and being taken from.  She told me of a husband leaving in the middle of the night who took only his camera and did not leave a note.  I placed my hands on her skin as if to tell her: You are here.  My hands know what they are talking about.  I might have been kind but not necessarily convincing.  When she smiled she smiled at the floor.

“Size of a plum!” said the surgeon, and he held out his gently cupped palm.  Three hours of slicing and scooping, and now we all stared at the emptiness carved out by his hand.

A hollowed face propped by insufficient pillows on a steel-framed bed.  His slit throat, white bandages.  It was hard for me to swallow.  It was hard to keep track of what my face was doing.  I pressed my hands against his skin.  I am here, here you are, they said.  Bent over a toilet throwing up from the morphine, my boyfriend was six foot five and looked smaller.  I’d been awake for three days.  Where was his mother?  His nurse asked if I was okay and handed me crackers.  I sucked the crumbs out of the plastic.  I crawled up against him into his hospital bed.

The next morning I brought him home.

A thin tube ran out of a hole in his throat that leaked fluid into a plastic bulb.  The bulb gathered the fluid and when it was full I removed the bulb and emptied it into the toilet.  Is it okay if I tell you that it was warm?  That it fit perfect in my palm and that I carted it away and tipped the warm fluid into the bowl of the toilet and watched the red, clotting swirls spiral as the toilet flushed?

I can’t say I didn’t thrive there, in that efficiency, carting and discarding liquids.

I watched as a doctor tore the tube from his throat.  The violence in the doctor’s wrist, the length of the tube was astounding.  How could I stay?  I told my boyfriend I needed to leave.  He tried to tell me that he fit in my palm.  No, I told him.  He struggled to tell me of being cut open and being taken from.  How I made promises to him when I got in his bed.  He touched my hands.  He wanted me again in his throat.

I ran away and drove to a basement and put myself in a jar.  I stayed there pressing my palms to the glass, unsure of what my hands had done, trying to tell them: This is a jar.

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One Response to Preview of Unsaid Six: This Is a Jar, by Kayla Blatchley

  1. Chiana says:

    What libnratieg knowledge. Give me liberty or give me death.

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