When Going Up or Down

by Rachel Kuhnle

Don’t let yourself fall asleep on the spiral stairs — the metal stairs that lead up to the ceiling, not seeming to go anywhere. You’ll wake up with rounded diamond shapes on your cheek and you’ll feel like you’d been punched in the jaw. At the time you’ll enjoy the way your body fits the curve of the stairs and the cool metal will feel nice on your skin. You’ll think, hey, it’s better than having my head on the floor, and the elevation from one step to the next will seem comforting. But trust me: you’ll wake with your body coiled like a snake and your muscles will feel heavy and cramped. And while it’s true your vomit will have filtered down to the floor, you’ll eventually be standing right in it.


Rachel Kuhnle is an English/Theater student living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She can most often be found sitting alone in her dorm room, reading, and nursing the pangs of unrequited love (and a caffeine addiction).