I dreamed we bought this motorized bed for my mom. It was operated with a joystick, and we made sure it could turn and fit into every corner of her house. Then, we were all getting ready to go out to lunch or something and my mom said, "I can't; remember, I'm dead?" and I became angry, pointing out that we had bought this bed for her recovery, that she could go anywhere with it, even the stores, and why had we invested all this time and money if she wasn't willing to to use it?
The worst feeling is that floating anger, with no origin, no actor. At whom should I be angry? My mother for dying; the world for taking her away? Myself for being angry instead of some Zen actor in the universal game?
Anger requires action; a fist, a kick, a foul word. But I am frugal, practical, a coward; if I break a glass, I must clean it up, and why waste money? So it simmers inside, cooking my organs, my heart. What a tough steak I've become.
Jen Michalski is author of the novel The Tide King, winner of the 2012 Big Moose Prize. She is the author of two collections of fiction, From Here and Close Encounters, and a collection of novellas, Could You Be With Her Now. In 2013 she was named one of "50 Women to Watch" by The Baltimore Sun and won a "Best of Baltimore" for Best Writer from Baltimore Magazine. She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww and host of The Starts Here! Reading Series and the biannual Lit Show. She lives in Baltimore, MD