The kitchen is cold this January morning, but that doesn’t matter: Kay sits there in her chair bundled up in an ancient housecoat, layered over yesterday’s sweat suit, just like she would if it were the hottest morning in August. This is her uniform. Don calls it her ‘mantle,’ a kind of cloak of security.

“Is there any coffee?” she asks. I pour her a fresh cup, open the spout of the pint carton of half-and-half, set the sugar bowl next to her, and lay a teaspoon on a napkin.

“Did you sleep well?” I ask.   […]


The story appeared in Tulane Review, Issue 27, Fall 2012. ◾ Request full textSee all stories