“Suppose” by Stace Budzko

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About the Author
Stace Budzko has been published or is forthcoming in Fiction Attic Press Anthology, Southeast Review, Inch, The Journal of Compressed Arts, Blip, Quiddity, Versal, Bridport Prize Anthology, Upstreet, Necessary Fiction, Prime Number, Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction, Press 53, PANK, Hobart, elimae, The Los Angeles Review, Night Train, The Collagist, Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Forward, Brevity & Echo and elsewhere. The screen adaptations of his stories, “How to Set a House on Fire,” “North End, 2010” and “Why I Don’t Keep a Daily Planner” have garnered numerous honors and awards as well as art and festival showcases. At present, he teaches and coordinates The Creative Writers Workshop at Emerson College.

Suppose one day you come home to an empty apartment. Suppose it’s Saturday and a late afternoon sun is shining through an open window in a way that allows you to now see certain outlines: this is where a kitchen table used to be, on that wall hung a tomato soup can print, over there was once an event calendar. Suppose then you move to the bedroom to find the mattress stripped (exposing the rude lumps of wear) only to appreciate a half-empty closet with hangers swinging in the breeze. Suppose the thought…hangers…as in…once hung. Now suppose when you walk through the living room picturing a loveseat next to a dog sleeper, you imagine sitting in an equally bright café with a friend in an astonishing hour much like this, maybe just a year ago. And suppose, as you are there talking with this friend, you knew deep down the affair is going to eventually play out the way that it will – no kitchen table, no soup can, no calendar, the same lumpy mattress, a half empty closet…no dog. Supposing all this: would you want then what you feel now?

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