Fiction: Babak Lakghomi
They Had Turned into Something Else
To say it was just the voice in your head, that what you heard had nothing to do with anything.
To say it was just about the fans blowing in the kitchen, that you couldn’t sleep, that you didn’t know for how long you hadn’t slept.
To say that it was about your father, that it could be about your mother, that none of you slept, that it runs in the family.
To say it was all about the flood in the kitchen, the leak in the floor. To say that the floor was finished, that the fish were dead in the fish tank. To say the hardwood smelled of decay.
To say you didn’t know how to fix a dishwasher, that you weren’t too good with tools. To say it was about who put the dishes in the dishwasher, that your father asked you to do it, that your mother did it for you.
To say you heard a hum when her skin rubbed against yours, that your skin was a house you did not know anymore. To say that you had been in so many houses that you forgot the walls of your own house. To say there were women in the houses, that there were leaks in their floors, that the fans were drying their kitchens.
To say that there was mold everywhere, that the fans were not working, that your feet touched the moldy floors.
To say the flood was not just in the kitchen. To say it was not just in the house. To say it was bigger than that.
There were broken dishes everywhere, you could grab a shard of glass from the floor. To say the shards were sharp, were shiny, that they came in different shapes.
To say somebody had to feed the fish, somebody had to fix the dishwasher.
To say the dead fish didn’t look like fish, that the smell made you sick. That they had turned into something else.
Babak Lakghomi is the author of Floating Notes (Tyrant Books, 2018). His fiction has appeared or forthcoming in NOON, Ninth Letter, New York Tyrant, Egress, and Green Mountains Review, among other places. Babak was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and writes in Hamilton, Ontario. Floating Notes was published in Italian by Pidgin Edizioni.