Chapter LXI (from My Mother by Macaulay Culkin, translated by Shaun Gannon)

My mother’s sleep is disturbed by many things. A whiff of Day-Quil, the ticking of a soda can, egg salad. She grasps but a few moments of rest each night. When it grows to be too much, she takes to the sea and sleeps in the sand at the bottom of the world. Only the water ghosts can wake her there, and they are careful not to disturb her until she is rested. They often bring her breakfast, but she knows to politely decline, as the first step to becoming a water ghost is to accept their hospitality. She swims home in her nightgown, refreshed but still unready for life, and it takes days for her voice to find her.

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