COLLEEN BARAN

DIIIIIIIIID IIIIITTTT HAP­PEN

Room Magazine - - CONTENTS - COLLEEN BARAN

The stage is clut­tered with fam­ily mem­bers and smiles. You fill out in­dex cards. Press but­tons. Feel buoyed by laugh­ter and at­ten­tion. A ques­tion goes up on the board. You’re in it to win it. You’re not here to make friends. “What is—the rea­son she says she drinks.” (Yay, points!) “What is—rea­sons to lock your bed­room door.” (Points!) (Points!) (Points!) Mom says, “I’ll take—pre­tend it never hap­pened—for 500.” She sweeps the board. (Ap­plause! Cries!) It doesn’t matter. You’re pretty sure you’re ahead. You’re in the bonus round. You take turns. One person tells a se­cret, the oth­ers press ei­ther a true or a false but­ton. The au­di­ence will shout the re­sults from flash­ing lights you can’t see. Just above your heads, lit by the red glow, you can feel the ver­dict com­ing.

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