Sticky Notes in Siskiyou

by Chloe Fields

I don’t know where Siskiyou is. I don’t know how to pronounce it. All I know is that Kissimmee sounds too flimsy and Kalamazoo is in Michigan or Minnesota. I call my mom, just to make sure. I ask “Mom, where is Siskiyou?” and she says, “Siskiyou? Where’s Siskiyou?”

So I tell him I’m going to Siskiyou. I leave him a sticky note on the front door and lock it from the inside, latch the chain: Gone to Siskiyou.

I don’t go to Siskiyou. I lie diagonally on my bed, roll around in the sheets, make them all mine. I pick lint off the old afghan blanket. Find new cracks in the ceiling. I don’t miss him.

I decide I’m hungry and eat a few grapes at the kitchen table. I peel the skin off with my teeth and roll the bulbous thing around on my tongue, suck the juices. I butter a piece of toast.

I run hot water and fill the bath to my ankles. I think about how I would ration just this amount of water to drink for a month. It doesn’t matter. I fill the tub fully and take off my clothes. I add soap—not enough for bubbles, just froth.

Once dry, I lie diagonally on the bed and daydream of someone rushing through the door to tell me they love me. I think to unlatch the door chain, because I’m not in Siskiyou after all. I think, this will never happen, better stay put.

I masturbate, or try to.

I eat all the snacks in the cabinet, his and mine. I fill myself to near sickness, and microwave a frozen meal I bought months, maybe years ago. I open a bottle of red wine we were saving.

I lie back down in bed, rub my stomach. Siskiyou. See-skee-yoo. Siss-kih-yow. Saskatchewan. All that water—maybe three gallons—how would I survive? Sacajawea.

I bite on the old, fibrous afghan, claw my fingers through its holes. I think of Siskiyou as colored in only green and orange and white, the colors of my old afghan. I think of sticky notes on every door in Siskiyou.

I build Siskiyou in my brain, its sticky notes and its skyscrapers and its schools. Its sasses and its kisses and its skeezes. I see no one on the streets, all doors chain-locked, sticky notes excusing them. Gone to Carlsbad, gone to Eureka, gone to the moon. No lovers knocking fists on the other side of wooden doors. A place to be hidden.


Chloe knows where Siskiyou is, but chooses to live in San Francisco instead. She writes.
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