Sitting at my desk. A pile of unnecessary receipts on the floor next to me. It’s the end of the month and things are getting reconciled. A stream of sunlight enters and floods the corner of my right eye, then bounces in my eyeglasses with every punch of a key. I type very deliberately.

A little dog walks across the receipts, oblivious to their significance, and puts his front paws on my left leg. He stretches and wags. I ignore him. So he whimpers and leaps. Little dog is now on my lap. I have to push back from the keyboard a few inches to accommodate him – and when I do, the sunlight shifts. Now it splashes directly onto the right lens. I’m squinting. In fact, I’ve had to backspace and correct a few words in these past two sentences. I don’t trust my fingers and must see the screen because little dog has decided to lie across my right arm. And he’s perfectly comfortable bouncing up and down with each keystroke. It’s his dinnertime. He’s going to win this.


I return from feeding the beasts and glance down at the crumpled receipts again. As I’d cleared them from the register earlier, I noticed all the ones from our trip to Charleston last week. Now they’re just memories. Being crumpled makes it official. It’s like that every month when the receipts remind me one last time of a dinner, movie, or trip to the vet – before I file the memory away in the great archive of my mind.

The earth turns just enough so that the sun dips behind a live oak branch and leaves me alone.

Thick, sweet jasmine rides into the room on a breeze.



Jim Mitchem

Broken Dreams
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.