Catherine Deery June 2021 Commended

Where are the Instructions for the Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Theatre Projector?

by Catherine Deery

When you said we didn’t have a future together because we couldn’t watch the same tv shows I thought is was the saddest and truest thing you’d ever told me — maybe the only true thing — even though it wasn’t true at all and I could have enumerated many happy middle-class-couple nights in summer spent side by side on the grey Ikea couch watching wall to wall projections of that cheesy western-meets-space-travel series you adored — all five seasons — in your early eighties bungalow-style red-brick rental house, which was my house too, but in a probationary kind of way never explicitly voiced at the time. Still, the probationary aspect of my existence inside your house was made abundantly clear by how the electronic gadgetry was laid out as a test for me to fail that entire September when you were overseas in Austin, Texas eating dry steak in empty restaurants and driving down state highways, feeling alone and masturbating to the memory of those five weeks three years ago when you hooked up with a rock-n-roll girl with long wild hair — long wild hair does it for me every time, you said — and since we’re being honest with each other that’s the sole reason in November, staring winter down, I shaved my head back to the bony outline of my scalp; I didn’t want a bit part in anyone’s fantasy, not even yours.

About the Author

Catherine Deery lives in Bendigo, Australia. She has been scribbling for a long time, mainly working on short fiction. Her stories have been commended and shortlisted in various Australian awards. Recently her flash fiction was shortlisted for the Smokelong Quarterly Micro Competition, and longlisted for the Cambridge Flash Fiction Award. She is having a go at writing a novel.

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