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September 6, 2021


Sam Thayn

I’m breaking up with my boyfriend right after this song ends. We’re in his car, he’s driving too fast and I’m gripping the handle over the window. We’re on Carmouth Street, right before the floral shop when I realize: it’s over. It’s been 11 years, but the way the streetlights are running over the hood as we drive under them says everything. He cares too much, and about the wrong things. He holds me funny. His palms are sweaty. When he comes out of the bathroom, he looks guilty. He drops things: toast, plates, the toothpaste in the shower. I shouldn’t have to put up with that, so I won’t anymore, I think, as we round the corner to Canal St. His mother has started calling me honey. Tells me about how her husband, my boyfriend’s dad, took his own life with a power drill. It can’t be true, I think, but she tells me everything—she found him. What it smelled like. What the police said when they came, where the drill is now. Where is the drill now? It’s just down in the garage, she says shrugging, like nothing matters. And she’s right. My boyfriend is upstairs getting some laundry while his mother leads me down the stairs by the hand. She stops at the edge of the floor like she’s not allowed any further. Right there, she points, and I see the big electric drill on the countertop, under shelves of screws and miscellany. I think I might touch it. I do. I heft it. I tickle the trigger and the bit goes zzz zz zzz. Oh! says my boyfriend’s mother, with a thrill.