A teacher says that when a story stalls, I should make a person appear at the door.
“Who is it?” I ask.
A brown-haired monkey appears. When invited in, the creature climbs on the crystal chandelier in the foyer. Running to find the kitchen, she discovers the granite island where a bowl of fruit taunts. After devouring three bananas, the monkey then swallows down the remainder of my egg salad sandwich. My stomach growls and I throw her out.
“Who is it?” I call again.
This time my dead father hovers above the stoop holding his customary bottle of Icelandic vodka. Not ready to face him after all these years, I slam the door in his ashen face. Over the crash of shattering glass, I hear his deep voice scolding me. Again.
The next time someone knocks, I hide in my bedroom. There is no way I will run downstairs to answer that door.
But then the goddamn phone rings.