Two deer in the Detroit airport. One I could understand. They seized up like trophies when children ran toward them near the car rental kiosk. A bearded man tried to corner them against a wall of glass. I was holding my mother’s duffel filled with my clothes, rising on the escalator. There was the clicking of hooves against the marble floor, and I thought, I will never feel as strange as this.
I used to play a game where I imagined everyone around me had just lost both their parents in an accident. Six weeks since my mother’s passing, her last breath drawn during a nap between episodes of Guiding Light, and I couldn’t imagine the people sitting next to me on the plane headed anywhere other than their parents’ homes. There was the sudden cut of a laugh track from the television that night as I reached to dial an emergency line, my vision blurring, my chest warming with nausea.
When I get out of the taxi in Bermuda, I avoid my reflection in the revolving glass of the hotel door. It is night, and my bags seem heavier. I rise on the elevator and arrive at the wrong floor. I step out anyway. There is a beep, light and high, and the metal doors shut behind me.