The billboard says, “I am here….”
It doesn’t offer a clue as to where “here” is, or even who “I” am. I have to take both on faith—faith, something I’m plenty short of.
The letters on the billboard are a foot high, bold. I’d guess they’re Helvetica, newspaper style. Like a headline, shouting, always shouting.
It doesn’t help, the volume. The size of the font blares in my ears, hurts my head.
And I still don’t know who I am.
I get lost easily. I prefer to call it “turned around”; it’s less galling that way. I can take the wrong turn in a hotel hallway, and I’m in the kitchen, nowhere near my room.
My stomach burns, my head buzzes. I think my knees will give out, but I know my thoughts lie. I careen, a runaway zombie with nowhere safe to hide.
And I want to hide. Away from the kitchen staff; away from the woman watching me, holding a grey teacup poodle.
I’m lost, I want to say. I took a wrong turn. I have no interest in your dog, no interest in the kitchen’s pots and pans. I just wanted to find my room, the one that fits this plastic key.
Lisa Fusch Krause is a full-time poet who daylights as a professional nitpicker—eschewing hyphens, excelling at commas, and indulging in a secret love affair with dashes. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, teenage daughter, and two part-Siamese black cats. Lisa often writes at her local pub; she hopes that there is a special place in hell for people who shout in enclosed spaces. She has recently been published in scissors and spackle and Artsmith.