Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 7
Spring, 2012

Featured painting, ©2003 by Lynn Schirmer : Egg.

Featured Excerpt

New Works

Matthew Antonio

Imaginary Women

That morning he noticed his wife was not in bed, which he found strange because she usually slept well into the late morning and didn't rise until he was gone for the day, though he had no notion of what she did then and had never asked. He showered and shaved, dressed and ate, but nowhere in his routine did he discover a clue to her whereabouts.
At work he sat in his office and waited for his morning files to arrive. They didn't arrive and he sought out his secretary, but she wasn't at her desk, though she should have arrived at least an hour before. Even the personal items with which she decorated her area were gone including the photo of a young boy who he assumed was a relation of some sort, a son maybe. He'd never asked despite their intimacy.
He knocked on the door of the office beside his and his colleague, whose name he could not remember, though he thought it began with an M or maybe an N, answered. He asked M or N if he'd seen the absent secretary and M or N gave him a concerned look.
"Who?" he asked. "I wouldn't know. Anyway, how can anyone keep track?"
He returned to his office.
When he arrived home and found his wife still absent, he decided to call his mother. Perhaps there had been some communication between the two. They'd always been close because in many ways they were more similar, shared a greater affinity, one for the other, than he and his mother ever had. He called. It rang twice and a recording informed him that not only was the number not in service, but also that never in the history of telephonic communication had that particular combination of numbers allowed any person to reach another. The recording was also of the opinion that he would do well to reflect on what sort of a moral degenerate would even think to use those numbers. Then the recording hung up on him.
He ate dinner and thought about the recording. By the time he washed his one plate and one glass and one set of cutlery, he'd decided the recording had a point.

Matthew Antonio attends Colorado State University's MFA program in Fiction, operates littlemachines.net, is the Assistant Fiction Editor for em: A Review of Text and Image, and just finished his first novel.