Raoul goes abroad to Germany for a summer internship and Jen is destroyed. She spends the days lying in sunlight patches on the living room floor reading Virginia Woolf and articles like 51 Ways to Make Him Wriggle. The only signs of eating are fragments of eggshells stuck to the trash bag. When I come home, she is filing her toenails at the table, her eyes sparkling and hollow and possessed by something half-god, half-demon. “It’s amazing how much weight you can lose,” she tells me, ‘“when all you want to eat is someone who isn’t around.”
“Night on the Island” is part of the prose series First Confessions. Recorded at Yee Siang Dumplings in Ypsilanti, Michigan, 2017, for Water Reader, Dispersed Holdings, New York. Subsequently included in the Ditto Ditto Recorded Reading Archive.