Illustration by Na Kim. He texted me something during staff meeting. I didn’t answer until it was over and I had closed my computer and wasn’t looking at him anymore, and then I told him not to text me, please, for these weeks, like we had said. Then I was upset, and I drove to the other side of the lake, where I parked outside a trailer. It was for work: my job required me to interview people, usually showing up unannounced to where it was possible they lived, or didn’t. A teenage girl opened the door. She was wearing a hot pink sweatshirt with purple sleeves, and her dog was black or dark gray with white on its face. It didn’t make noise as it went around her legs in the doorframe. I turned around, and it bit into the back of my calf. I yelled for a while, and then I was on the ground. Nothing hurt. I put my finger in its mouth to get it to let go, but it bit it. I screamed louder until I realized there wasn’t a point to screaming, because the girl was already hitting the dog with something, maybe a chair, and there was no one else to alert. Then I was free, and the door to their trailer was open, and then I was inside, and I had closed the door behind me. Then I was leaning on the arm of their green couch, and then I was sitting on the seat of another, whose color I don’t know, because I was looking at the small lakes of blood on the floor. They were already congealing, and inside the pools were small flecks of white. I realized they were my fat when I saw similar pieces on the thighs of my jeans. I called him. I told him where I was and that I had been attacked by a dog. He said, “Mm-hmm,” in a light tone, the way he talked to his neighbor when he helped him with his taxes, or to me if I needed help […]
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