‘Lucy Hardin’s Missing Period’ by Stephen Marche


From The Walrus:

Lucy closed her eyes to listen. The hubbub of the street mixed with the thrum of Daniel’s insides squirming, and because she had made a nude pillow from the swell of his sweat-sticky belly, Lucy could also hear his heartbeat, like boots clomping down a flight of stairs. Her eyelids cracked open: a beam of honey-coloured dust flung across the room from the half-angled blind. Daniel’s recoiling penis was sapping ultra-fine strands of liquid crystal onto a patch of coarse hair at his thigh, and through the window, in the summer blue Saturday sky, gulls were wavering like drunk hawks.

“Already the middle of the day,” Dan said. Time? 9:38 a.m.

The sight of Daniel’s defeated penis, the retreating snail mocking shamefacedly with its white lash of tongue, brought nothing to her obscene mind so much as her dead father. Today was the tenth anniversary of his death. Lucy blinked, sifting eyesand, and remembered her sister Judy on the phone not saying why she was coming over. Judy in the living room of her Montreal apartment, appalled at what she had to say. The long drive back to Toronto. Her mother in the driveway kicking the grass. The body. His body.

A sudden gust of the desire to live breathed aside the mixture of sex and melancholy in Lucy Hardin. Today was Saturday after all, and that was good luck — comics, popcorn at the movies, balloons in the park, the day of the week set aside for extended hedonistic childhood. Then she remembered her missing period, missing for a week. Missing for seven whole days.

Over the bed and Daniel’s body Lucy splayed out fantastically naked, a mermaid languishing on a polluted shore.

Back down into the deepest sleep ever or Rise to greet the glorious new day?

Choose what happens next at The Walrus