HUSK 1.2

Premonition of a Homecoming

by Maeve Hurley

You will make arrangements for someone to visit your cat in your sad little apartment and fill his food bowl. This will be your turn to ask and receive in the favor economy that exists between you and your broke, 20-somethings friends.

You’ll pack a backpack full of mostly old socks and homely underwear. You can wear your high school sweatshirt and some faded jeans while you’re at home.

You are going to be so normal about TSA.
Whisper your manifestations:
This tile is not dirty.
Millions of thinly socked toes have not touched this floor.
No one is looking at me as I spread eagle in the metal detector.
The TSA agent is not being mean to me.
I will not cry while shoeless and confused.

The plane ride will be mundane and cramped and you’ll think maybe it won’t be so bad. To see your mom and your siblings. Yeah.

Your mother will pick you up at the airport.

A joyous reunion of entangled arms and shared smiles will never come to fruition. Your mother will call you seconds after you deboard and ask where you are because

She is outside and she can’t find you! She is in the parking lot! Where are you?!

And you’ll reflexively slap yourself three times on the forehead to avoid screaming while she puts you on speaker phone.

You will breathe a deep breath because you are mature. You will not blow up on your mother because she has just as much potential to be upset, confused, and annoyed as you do.

Your mother is a human being.
Your mother is a human being.
Your mother is a human being.

You will calmly explain that you need to know what parking lot she is in.

The ride home will be quiet.

You’ll pull up to the driveway like you have a million times before.
You’ll enter through the garage door just like you would after school each day.

You’ll explain to your mom that you’re tired and you’re going to turn in early.
She’ll hug you gently and you’ll remember that so much time has already accumulated within her body. It shows in the wrinkles on her forehead and the sunspots on her hands. You’ll be taller than her and this will seem absurd and unnatural. Her body will feel thin, and for a brief moment, alien in your arms.

In your room, you’ll lay in the same bed where you once constructed intimate domestic and sometimes sexual fantasies about a class acquaintance that you never ended up speaking to for more than a minute at a time. You’ll drift in and out of consciousness. You’ll dream of beached pelicans, unable to fly. Large, white wings weighed down by oil, smothered in the lifeblood of an economy they have no concept of.

Eventually, the sticky air of your bedroom will usher you back downstairs for a glass of water from the mineral stained kitchen sink.

In the dark, you’ll narrowly avoid breaking your toe running into a ceramic dog water dish.
The memory of your companion lost to age will sting along with your foot.

The dish, something your mother purchased at TJ Maxx disturbingly close to his death, will have that script-like font that millennials and your mother seem to share a passion for. The outside reads:


The inside, still half full of the water he’ll never finish, reads:



You’ll reason that there’s probably a black hole underneath your childhood home. It sucked up your parents’ marriage and your brother’s empathy and that shirt you loved in the seventh grade but never saw again.

You’ll try to remember the names of all the people you’ve kissed. You’ll try to think of all the parties you’ve danced at, the cat in your apartment, the young and bright faces belonging to your current friends and lovers. You’ll close your eyes and attempt to drift above the body that is once again temporarily trapped in a box designed to hold a family in isolation.

You’ll want to dump out the water dish and shove it deep in some cabinet full of forgotten shit. You’ll remember that you’re a tourist, not a resident of your past.