– Autofiction by Carla Myers –
I have to find new holes because the tampons need somewhere to go. They live everywhere: every purse I own, the cup holders in my car, the pockets of old coats I should have given away already, my pencil case, my junk drawer, my husband’s funeral suit pocket. They are mice that the cat killed, dragged by the tail and left under my bed. They are tampon-henge arranged in a red solo cup under my mother’s upstairs bathroom sink, they are a line of talismans set on my windowsill to ward off age.
They hold hands and make precarious, swinging, tampon bridges, so the other tampons can skitter over top and follow me through the house. When I try to leave the house, they jump up on me like excited dogs who want to go for a car ride. While they wait for me to return, they entertain themselves by building structures like Lincoln-Log cabins and playing self-Jenga.
I don’t have the heart to tell them I don’t need them anymore. They would slump in despair or it might foment unrest between the old-school plastic applicator contingent and the OB hipsters, who still think they are so progressive and superior. I’ve never told any of them about the Diva Cups. It would be quite a blow.
They really have to leave though. Every time I see one it’s like seeing the wedding photo of my now-divorced parents. They both look so smooth and beautiful, fragile and ready. When they divorced, my grandmother yanked it from her wedding wall triumvirate of photos of her daughters. My aunt and her husband went next. My mom’s oldest sister and her husband stayed for the duration. She died of breast cancer at fifty, so her spot was assured. When my grandmother died, I spirited away the faded photo from a box of second-rate relatives. So now I have it in a new a box– full of things I am unable to look at.
The tampons refuse to be given away and I know at least half are in hiding. When I find a box of them, I take them outside and insert them in the places where the chinking has fallen away from our old stone house. They swell up in the rain and remain firmly in place. Their strings act as anemometers so I always know which way the wind is blowing. That is where most of them are now; I will have to get an archeologist’s pick if I want to chip out space for more. These days, if I catch one, camouflaged, inching along the white baseboard radiator, I trap it with my hands and squeeze it into the box with my parents’ photo and the other invisible things.
About the Author – Carla Myers
With an undergraduate degree in sculpture and a J.D., Carla Myers followed the most logical path to becoming a writer. This year she retained a significant number of body parts, but not as many as she had hoped. Carla Myers recently won the flash-fiction writing contest at The Gateway Review with a story about killing off some of her ancestors. She is the winner of the Columbia Journal Evolve Special Issue and her work has been published in The Jabberwock Review, Patheos, Muse/ A Journal, Streetlight, Convivium and Sonic Boom. “Holes” was first published on Sonic Boom, Issue 11, April 2018.
Did you like “Holes” by Carla Myers? Then you might also like Carla Myers’ story “Just a Half-Teaspoon.”
Looking for more to read? Check out:
The Prisoner: Free at Last
Gelato and Frost
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