By Sennah Yee
There are too many fans in the room—whirring on the ceiling, the tables, the floor. They blow the bouquets of fake flowers set on every table, but they do not emit that real, hushed rustle. The paintings on the walls are worthy of both gallery and thrift store collections: muted landscapes, flocks of seagulls, frothy shores. Mounted beside them, frozen birds of prey and sobbing bass heads.
The suits, the tucked-in polos, the baggy hoodies, the varsity jackets and jerseys—and a windbreaker momma who oddly sticks out, though she isn’t supposed to—they sit back in folded chairs, arms crossed, fingers laced, chicken wings half-gnawed, glasses half-sipped, brick phones on silent. Dangling chains, keys on lanyards, formal ties. Watching, assessing.
What time is it? Where we are? who they are is not a concern. All that matters is the entertainment. Her dress, shoes, jewels are brilliant shades of mint and emerald, satin ribbons and mermaid tailed. The brother wants to trace the veins on her arms, soft but sculpted. He is beckoned by everything about her and everything that this room is not. When a spell is cast, is one being awoken, or put to sleep? The sister watches on, ashtray and meal both ignored.
The suits, the tucked-in polos, the baggy hoodies, the varsity jackets and jerseys—the windbreaker momma, too—they raise their hands and glasses, while she keeps her eyes down on the ground, the brother. The sister’s eyes stay fixed, unblinking. All those fans will dry them out. Whirring, ignored.