about the author

David Luoma has a BSN from the University of Central Missouri and an MFA from the University of San Francisco. He teaches at Johnson County Community College. His fiction has appeared in Third Coast, Prism Review, SLAB, and elsewhere.

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Leonard and Kay

David Luoma

Whenever he remembered, the remembering of the things he’d said and that look on her face crammed into his special space, a kind of reverb chamber in his head, where with pins and needles the echoes of those things crowded with other echoes he’d been saving, the rehashed words combative and vying with each other and creating such a cacophony that doubled and tripled however much he tried to remain calm and remedy things with his promiscuous tricks, such as watching TV, eating a bagel, deep breathing, lifting weights, working a puzzle, reading a book, showering, pacing the floor, all of which failed with so much defiance he had no choice and considered instead organization and systematic cataloguing based on whatever severity he remembered, but the furious and wanton echoing made things compile in a way that unmanned him, an unbridling of causes and effects and facts and fibs, again doubling and tripling the reverberant noise to a point of fever, so depraved he squeezed his head with his hands until the dull ache stood him up and made him run downstairs, where, after dodging traffic in the street, he charged down a block to the redbrick apartment, the frigid air making him doubt himself for just a moment, but a moment long enough and cold enough he hung at the bottom of the steps, seeing the light sharpen in her eyes one more time before scrambling up and pounding on her door with such force she answered believing something horrible happened, herself remembering the smile she’d been practicing in the mirror just seconds prior, having opened and stood in silence while he said what he’d been thinking about earlier and was going to say how sorry he’d become when he saw her warm coat buttoned and fresh makeup, looking so rosy and shy and ready he shivered before pushing himself into the doorway.

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