about the author

Curt Saltzman was born and raised in Los Angeles. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle Magazine, Sou’wester, The Bitter Oleander, Into the Void, Epiphany, and elsewhere. He lives in France.

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Sunday Visit to the Psychiatric Ward,
July 20, 1969

Curt Saltzman

Shriveled down to gnomic dimensions. So always swallowed by the lounge area’s vivid plastic armchairs that clashed with the grim decor of our hangdog souls. That day he thought we’d been shrunken, too, and doppelgängered, that somehow we were also the gray, pressure-suited specters shifting inside the cathode ray tube.

Mom, not mirrored, showed unusual forbearance, but my brother and I just wanted out of there, our edgy youth intolerant of the blazing corridors, the shuffled, babbling tributes to delirium and blood, the bland clinicians unflinchingly probing where it hurt.

“Take this message to the moon,” Dad told us, pointing at the blurred screen, hallmark of arrivals in zones from which only the body can return halfway intact.

But he never gave it.

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