The Resurrection This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I’ll be d***ed if I’ve ever had anything but an ordinary Monday. Same as always, I woke up to that stupid alarm clock with curly, purple rings around the face because I guess my mom forgot I was a guy my last birthday. And, like every ordinary, ugly little Monday, I inspect that very, stupid alarm clock—just sort of stare at it until the thin black numbers start to grow filmy and blend into the ticking hand that just goes and goes and goes. And I’ll just lie there and stare. God, you know what? Maybe, then, I’ll even get up? Up off of that thin, twin bed pushed into one of the four dirty corners of my apartment. My apartment with the dark, wood floors and the wallpaper that used to be cream but is now tan and peeling. Chances are I’ll stumble over a few things before I reach the tiny bathroom with the white tile. Such a tiny apartment, too. Ordinary.

Not this morning, though.

No, this morning I was feeling brave.

I couldn’t bring myself to get up and look at that stupid alarm clock with the purple rings and then at my stupid self in the mirror in the corner of my apartment with my bald spot and outgrown robe and big, awkward hands with the veins and…

This morning I tried to kill myself.

But, nope, now I’m just sitting here in a hospital bed, fit with cleanly cut, white sheets and pillowcases, looking at a new clock that has no alarm and wishing that would have just let me die. God, they should have just let me—

I hear a light knock on the hospital door, and, soon, a medium-sized woman with an orange, felt skirt tight around her upper legs and a light pink, frilly blouse tucked in with some give emerges from the clean halls. She adjusts her thin, golden belt, which runs along the lip of her skirt above her waist, and carries a large, yellow envelope in her hands.

Perfect. Simply, perfect. That woman, standing and smiling broadly in the doorway, is my neighbor. Yes, that woman is the unfortunate, blissful little Muriel Shelley of apartment C-12.

“Stanley, still so handsome, still so handsome!”

I remain silent.

She stands there making some exaggerated expressions of surprise on her face, round and framed by a smooth, shoulder-length mass of blonde hair, and, for some odd reason, she takes my silence as cause to, once again, enlighten me with her thoughts on my appearance. But, hey, that’s Muriel.

“I mean look at that face! Simply, gorgeous! And after such a…” She gives up on that subject with a sharp breath and, as if making up for lost time, giggles excitedly as she walks a few steps and quickly sits in the visitor’s chair. She continues smiling, all the while exposing the silver band of a retainer.

Does she not know why I’m here?

She leans forward as if to tell me a secret or play some sickly-peppy game of “telephone” with her fellow women-children. I hope to God there are no more women-children.

“I’ve taken the liberty of bringing you your mail,” she says with an even larger smile that, since her mouth is open, makes her look like a cat yawning… and on drugs. She puts the envelope on my nightstand.

After some thought she concludes, “it’s still a lovely Monday… in terms of the weather, I mean!”

Shut up.

The nurse comes into the room and adds something to that plastic bag attached to my wrist by a long cord. I consider the raw rubber of the cord and decide that I want to rip it out of me, but I’m too weak. I’m feeling even weaker in a few moments, and the last thing I see is the nurse whispering to Muriel and Muriel nodding and waving goodbye to me.

Soon, the meds wear off and I’m yawning and opening my eyes to a thin, bald man now sitting in the visitor’s chair. My eyes are still focusing, but I know who it is already. I mean, I should know my dad anywhere, shouldn’t I? I notice that I’m almost embarrassed to be lying here in front of him, with all of these tubes in me and me in this papery, teal dress or smock or whatever you call it.

I speak. “Hi, dad.”

He nods at me, not looking at me but at the plaid cuff of his shirt.

We’re silent for a little bit.

I try again. “I’m glad you’re here, dad.”

Truthfully, however, I’m wishing to God Almighty that I had died this morning. I should be up with Him in the high heavens, drinking beer and petting my childhood dog, Scooter. My dad never liked Scooter.

“Yeah,” he says. He was never one to be warm, but, really?

Really.

I look at his face intently and decide that my mom made him come. I sigh, but I continue to look at him.

He’s slouched slightly and his shirt seems awkward on his shoulders. He never looks back at me, and his hand is shaking a little bit as it continues to pick at the stiff shirt.
That pains me, his shaking. His face has the hint of the frown, or it looks like it from my angle, but he refuses to look up.
I wonder if he can and if he ever will again. I look away now and we remain silent and the time goes and goes and goes until I’m asleep by my own means. I can't do this.
Once again, I’m woken up. This time, however, it’s because of someone’s hands are pressed into my already limp arm.
I open my eyes to see a woman thrown against the side of my hospital bed, and, yes, she is clinging onto my arm. She's wearing a royal blue dress, all crumpled along the harsh, white lines of the hospital bed.
I grunt.
She looks up.
Suzie.
I can't believe it. It’s Suzie. It’s Suzie. It’s Suzie with the big, round eyes and the short bob of orange-blonde hair and that delicate, pink mouth. It’s Suzie with the little nose and the little waist and those gorgeous eyes and gorgeous everything. I love you, Ms. Suzie McCullens.
We look at each other, sitting there staring at each other. She is still beautiful. Everything is still, silent, melting around us.
I love you.
Suzie McCullens, I love you.
But, she’s crying and sniffling without end, the little bit of eyeliner she wears running on her rosy cheeks. She wipes the black tear quickly it in her daze, still looking at me, into me. She’s lunging at me now, screaming why, why, why, and I’m crying too and shouting that I don’t know anymore. And I’m hugging her and she’s hugging me and we’re crying.
I say it now, shouting it in between rough gasps. I love you Suzie McCullens. I could have lost you, I don't know why I let myself lose you.
She’s still screaming why, why, why, and she's pushing at my chest and grappling at my hand to hold to that beautiful face. She loves me. She says it now, again and again. She has always loved me. Finally, she collapses into my shoulder and I bury my face in the soft slope of her neck.
And that’s how the dead man was brought back to life.





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