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“New Perimeters,” by Kayla Pongrac

Cafe Sketch

On Monday I showed you around town like any good friend would do; I pointed to massive structures and historical landmarks that I thought might make your insides hum with familiarity.

As we dipped triangle-shaped slices of pita bread into red pepper-flavored hummus at a table inside a crowded café, I explained that all my friends have officially escaped, just like you did five years ago. Nowadays, I’m forced to picture everyone miles away, building new perimeters in different cities across the United States. But what I didn’t tell you is that when I picture them (including you, back in your new home state), I do my best to read their lips. They usually say things like this:

This morning I sprayed myself with silly string . . . I wish you could’ve been there to see me standing in front of my bedroom mirror, mummifying myself with those wet threads of blue. When I finished, I had never looked happier, or more appropriately attired.

This afternoon I plan to tie a dozen helium balloons to my mailbox so that passersby on cars and bicycles will know that the party is here, and it’s staying. Where are you? Did you get my invitation, or did it get lost in the mail again? 

Tonight when I take a bath, I’m going to add food coloring to the water. I’ll soak myself in blue before adding a few drops of red: maybe it’ll help me decide if purple is my new favorite color should it give me a nicer, more saturated hue. By the way, I must admit that I forget what your favorite color is. Forgive me for this.

We finished the hummus before we finished the pita bread—a rare occurrence for the two of us. Before wiping your mouth with a monogrammed napkin, you told me not to worry, that maybe I, too, will escape this town once I feel its dimensions shrink. You said that is the only variable that will suggest to me that it’s time for company upkeep.

On Wednesday morning, I sat alone in my favorite coffee shop daring the walls to closet me.

About the Author:

Kayla Pongrac is an avid writer, reader, tea drinker, and record spinner. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in theNewerYork, Split Lip Magazine, Oblong, The Bohemyth, DUM DUM Zine, and Mixtape Methodology, among others. When she’s not writing creatively, she’s writing professionally—for two newspapers and a few magazines in her hometown of Johnstown, PA. To read more of Kayla’s work, visit www.kaylapongrac.com or follow her on Twitter @KP_the_Promisee.

Image Credit: © Isaxar / Dollar Photo Club