by Brooke Fisher
Artwork, “Submerge” by Lyle Rushing
Light switch on. Off. On. Off. On. Off.
The faucet leaks. Droplets fall into the sink in a slow, rhythmic cadence. Drip
drop. Drip drop. Drip drop.
Switch on the TV once. Twice. Three times. LED lights dance across the screen,
swirling and combining to create the neon signs of a popular game show. The crowd’s
applause does not drown out the sound of steady beats of a leaky faucet. Switch the TV
off, watch the color disappear to a single point on the screen until it fades to black.
The Internet says lefty loosy righty tighty. One turn to the right, then another and
another for good measure. Still the faucet drips. It sounds almost as if it’s laughing.
Avoid the sound. Walk away. Close the toolbox lid with an unsatisfying thud. One
thud. Two thuds. Three. Count the books on the shelf. Perfectly select the third one. Put
it back. Count again. Replace. Repeat. Replace.
The sound amplifies. The room seems to close in, this tiny fourteen by fourteen
box with only one window suffocates. Close eyes. Remember to breathe. Bite lower lip,
stifling a string of curse words from releasing.
Choose another book. Read the cover, focusing on the font choice, the blurbs
from reviews with their ellipses denoting other, less pleasing things were said there.
Tune in to the sound the dripping faucet, syncing heartbeats with it. Wait…
The dripping stops. Each drop becomes more and more irregular, the tempo
slowing. Until finally…silence. Hold breath for thirty seconds. Nothing. Release sigh.
Smile. Sit on couch and prop feet up, falling asleep in that position.
Drip drop. Drip drop.