Megan Giddings


During a phone call you say, “I plan to fall in love with you.” 

And I reply, “Which me?” 

You laugh like it’s a joke and hang up the phone like you’re a person on TV; too cool to say goodbye.

It could be Attic Me you meant. She has the most sex, but is also the least willing to fall in love. When people tell Attic Me they could just drop dead, she thinks, I double dare you do it. Make your heart a Petoskey stone and your brain a goldfish floating down sewer pipes. She is mean and cold and Dr. Web MD has diagnosed her with rabies three times in the past month. She likes the bats in the attic too much to trap them in coffee cans and make them go back outside. All the mes are afraid of her. If you fell in love with her, we would whisper behind your back. Say you’re one of those people who want their genitals stomped on by a woman wearing floral high heels. What? We saw it on HBO once.

Downstairs Bathroom Me and Upstairs Bathroom Me are in a constant Toledo War. One is always sitting down to a sun hot bath and ten seconds later, the other one wants one too and is enraged she has to contend with lukewarm to cold water. One is always beginning a brand new note that begins, Dear Fucko. If you fall in love with either, you’ll be the subject of aggressive notes written in all caps. But at the same time, they are always naked or wearing robes where one breast is on the verge of bursting out. And their breasts are bonkers fantastic, so it would make sense.

Living Room Me lives the chill life. She finds a brand new cat lumped on the carpet every morning. Calico. Tuxedo. Grey. She curls up on the big pillows beneath the window, on the orange striped rug, and shows her stomach as she snoozes. Sometimes she has mysterious bites and scratches on her arms, but Living Room Me thinks they might be her own doing. Her dreams are dramatic. If you fall in love with her, it means you’re into the feeling of her arm around you, a sunbeam on your forehead, your mouth sloppy with drool.

Bedroom Me is sucked into a time loop filled with punching pillows to make head shapes and plucking out heirloom quilts—the almost star, the improved nine patch—and floating them above the bed like the clouds that tell people icicles will soon be threatening brains for the next three months. If you fall in love with her, the rest of us will think you’re boring. All that bitch likes to do is clean and straighten and talk about the history of quilt design. 

Kitchen Me tries to live every day like she’s in a Nancy Meyers movie. She scrubs the counters clean. Love for her is chopping bright peppers on a wood cutting board with a freshly sharpened knife. It’s Keanu Reeves looking Diane Keaton up and down in her gorgeous Hampton home. Kitchen Me smells like oregano and pepper. We are all a little in love with her because she makes all the food, washes the dishes, and says things like, “A good ice cream cone can cure anything. You are all brilliant women.” 

Hallway Me is too busy straightening paintings to even know your name. She is too busy peeking into the other rooms and spying on what we’re all doing to think about you. She writes what we do in a small, black book. We think she has secret plans and might actually be Outdoors Me. We don’t ask her questions. She lives to lie. She can turn her eyes plastic and small. You should fall in love with her and tell us all her secrets. It would only make us love you more.

Tonight you’ll come over for a pizza party where we’ll all avoid eye contact. We’ll want to slurp you like you’re extra-melted cheese or even better: like we’re all aardwolves and you’re the termite hill of our dreams. We’ll want to tell you dumb dad jokes about things walking into bars. We want to see you laugh so hard you make all the rose-patterned plates crack. And in a quiet moment, we’ll lean forward so we can see what you do with that last piece of pizza. Because true love is soft eyes, parted lips and the offer of that last, gooey slice.

A secret: we hope you’ll pull out a pen knife, cut the piece into strips, and put them in your palms. We want to move forward like fawns to nuzzle and lick the grease off your fingers. Love you in a big, dumb herd. 

Megan Giddings is a graduate of Indiana University's MFA program in Creative Writing. She is co-Fiction Editor of The Offing. Her chapbooks, Arcade Seventeen (TAR) and The Most Dangerous Game (The Lettered Streets Press), were released in 2016. She has stories forthcoming or that have been recently published in Black Warrior Review, Arts & Letters, Pleiades, Passages North and Best Small Fictions 2016.
Mark Cugini