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A Window

Story by Rolli (Read author interview) June 22, 2015

Art by Rolli

God opened a window for me. I jumped out the window.

“You landed on a stop sign,” said the doctor.

“I did?”

“You broke every bone in your body. Literally every bone. Even your ossicles.”

I’d never even heard of those.

“You’re going to be in this cast for about nine months.”

“Could I get a coffee?” I said.


My only visitor was a Jehovah’s Witness with suitcases under his eyes. I don’t know who gave him my room number. He leaned back and read pamphlets. I asked him if he could read anything else instead but he didn’t think so.

“Don’t you have to go to work?” I said one day.

“This is what I do, ma’am,” he said.

“Full time?”

“Full time,” he said.

“I also dig graves,” he said.

“Oh,” I said.


There were many times that I was so itchy I wished I was dead.

“Can you give me something for it?” I asked the doctor.

“I could give you Demerol,” he said.

That was his answer to everything.

He injected me. I didn’t even feel it.

“What’s your horse’s name?” I asked.

He didn’t even answer. He just galloped away.


My physiotherapist was named Vincentonio. Not Vincent or Vince or Vinnie but Vincentonio.

As soon as I could move my neck, I kissed him.

“I’m a homosexual,” he said.

That was his answer to everything.

Pretty soon I could move my arms and even my legs a bit.

“You’ll have to use a cane for the rest of your life.”

“Will I still be able to dance?” I said.

“Possibly, yeah,” he said. “If someone holds you up.”

I started crying. Vincentonio put his arms around me.

I kissed him on the lips.

“I’m a homosexual,” he said.


The skinny guy stopped visiting. I guess that was promising.

I looked at one of his pamphlets.

144,000 lucky candidates will receive an all-inclusive trip to Paradise.

I laughed. That was great. That was entertaining.

I should’ve actually paid attention.


When I got back to my apartment, I closed the kitchen window. It was freezing in there.

I clutched the handrail and took a shower. It felt great.

As I finished a pot of coffee, the kitchen window slid back open.

I pushed my chair over to the sink.

“Okay,” I said, climbing onto the counter. “But this is the last time.”

About the Author

Rolli is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. He’s the author of two short story collections (I Am Currently Working On a Novel and God’s Autobio), two books of poems (Mavor’s Bones and Plum Stuff), the middle grade story collection Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat and two forthcoming novels – Kabungo (Anansi/Groundwood, 2016) and The Sea-Wave (Guernica Editions, 2016). His cartoons appear regularly in Reader’s Digest, Harvard Business Review, Adbusters, The Chronicle of Higher Education and other popular outlets. Visit Rolli’s website  and follow him on Twitter @rolliwrites.

This story appeared in Issue Forty-Eight of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Forty-Eight

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