Sunning A Mattress

Wina Puangco

I am on a couch with my friend. We have not seen each other in half a year. He has invited me over for the things we have in common: books, music, and a misunderstanding of people. He is sock-footed with legs crossed over each other but not touching, like stitching that is not yet a seam. He tells me about new friends he has made. I am envious. He tells me about the places they’ve been, and the movies they’ve seen, and laughed at, and discussed at length. When it is my turn to talk, I find I cannot tell him about where I have gone: that is, to the ocean with all our old friends. I cannot not tell him about the coffee we brewed, and the laps we swam from shore to skyline, how I cut my foot on a stone. I can’t say how I felt as we left the city in the dead of night like bandits on the run, windows down as we traded smog for salt air. I do not tell him about how we got up at dawn every morning for days, and baked under the sun, or how we lay on the bungalow floor, trying to read, and then ended up heading out to the beach instead to try and build something out of sand, only to become scavengers of pretty stones: looking for fragments to bring back. I could not say that we had planned the trip out for about a month, complete with maps, and playlists, and pit-stops, and that it had made me restless at my desk for days. I don’t tell him that he had not come to mind, or that if he had, no one had spoken up about it, because if someone had, then he would have been asked to come along. Instead, I tell him about a song I heard on the radio about never leaving your apartment, and hiding out behind a sofa that I imagined to be like the one we are sitting on. I tell him about how the song spoke to me, and how sometimes, I can see myself existing completely within the confines of my bedroom. I regale him with stories of bathroom cleaning, and dish-doing, and watch his posture as I begin asking him excitedly about whether he has discovered the many benefits of sunning a mattress at least twice a month: his spine pulls him up, and out, legs re-crossing one knee over the other, as though he can tell I am spinning him, a yarn.
<td><strong>Author Bio</strong>: <em>Wina Puangco writes fiction, and makes zines. She was Prose Editor for Malate Literary Folio in 2010 and won a De LaSalle University Literary Award (Short Story) in 2012. She has been previously published in Stache Magazine,Driftwood Press, and Plural Online Prose Journal. Her series of short stories, “Science Lessons” also appears in TAYO Literary Magazine‘s 5th Anniversary Issue. She was named a finalist for the 2015 Sozopol Fiction Fellowship, the selection of which was made by Elizabeth Kostova and Steven Wingate. She has recently been named the newest addition to Plural Online Prose Journal’s editorial team. She also manages MoarBooks, a tiny independent press. </em></td>
<td><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7257" src="" alt="Wina Puangco" width="200" /></td>


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