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Jose Enrique Medina

Father’s Anger When He Finds Your Stash

Crucifixion by Sebastian Picker

To make sure no one’s home when you arrive, get out of school two hours early. Walk across the living room’s loose squeaky floorboards. Notice that your life has always been emptier than you’d wanted to admit. Separate your mother’s hand-sewn curtains that serve as closet doors. Take out the green suitcase that smells like your abuelita. Pull the Sunkist crate from the dresser with the missing drawer. Pack underwear, socks, shirts and only two pairs of pants (you can wear jeans many days in a row without anyone noticing). Scramble at the back of the crate for your cologne, and then feel foolish. What good is perfume in the streets? Though you already checked for dirty mags that fucked up everything, go to the bathroom, lift the cardboard box of your sister’s shampoos, and make sure there’s nothing left behind. Open the medicine cabinet, pluck your toothbrush from the blue cup, erasing one more clue that once upon a time you lived here. Before leaving, glance at the table where you’ve shared so many things with your family. Then zip up your sweatshirt, put your hoodie over your head. Remember the route: take the 31 to the 4, which takes you all the way to West Hollywood. Don’t think about how disappointed your mom and sisters will be when they find out the truth about you. Squeeze the $300 in your pocket and exhale slowly through your mouth.


About the writer:
Jose Enrique Medina earned his BA in English from Cornell University. He writes poetry, short stories and novels. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing with his baby chicks, bunnies and piglets in his farm in Whittier, California.

Image: Crucifixion by Sebastian Picker (1956-). Oil on canvas. 190 x 160 cm. 2010. By free license.

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