Remind Me Why I'm Not There

by Caren Coté

I have to get out of this room. I wish I had a long coat to wear over the pajamas I stole from Mike; that would be faster and deliciously eccentric. Downstairs in the hotel lounge I sit in a corner, watching mute television and drinking Diet 7-Up. The bartender brings them with a cherry, as though they were Shirley Temples for his niece. Mike's asleep, or I'd call. I promise myself I'll call while he's getting ready for work in the morning, but wake up in a tragically glamorous pose across the king-sized bed at ten-thirty.

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Caren Coté has never stolen anyone's pajamas, but thinks it'd be cool to wear a long coat over them. Her short story "Schadenfreude" appears in the Winter 2009 edition of Ink Filled Page. (This is a novel excerpt; the long version is currently being rejected by literary agents.)