Christopher Sessums CC
things I shouldn’t know
I remember some things, like the softball game at recess and how he knelt beside me, put his left hand on my chest, and his right hand on my shoulder blade. He gave me a little shake. “You have good shoulders.” Later, when I told on an older kid for grabbing my shirt and throwing me around the playground, he told me to toughen up.
I remember the night the boys in my third-grade class went to his trailer for a sleepover. My sleeping bag was in the corner of the living room; the smell of the brown shag carpet was more pungent than the stale popcorn and cheap pizza. The bare wood paneling along the hallway led to a neglected bathroom where he stood at the open door while I brushed my teeth.
Then I don’t remember. There are only flashes of things I shouldn’t know. A snapshot of an appendicitis scar. A lifeless burgundy curtain resting crooked over the one window in the bedroom.
But I could have seen the curtain from outside. There’s no face with the scar; just a disembodied image, angry red and jagged. I don’t tell anyone. There’s too much I can’t remember.
Jim Almo (he/him) is a southern writer and musician living in the northeast. He grew up in a fire & brimstone cult in the Appalachian mountains, which you can read about in his memoir if he ever finishes it. He is a verified coffee nerd, former touring drummer, and loves to cook vegetarian dinners with his wife and two teen boys. You can find his work in CP Quarterly, JMWW, and now Anti-Heroin Chic. He's also on Twitter @jimalmo.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.