-It’s your cousin’s wedding. You’re twelve. You greet your grandmother and she wraps your wrist in her wrinkled claws. “You’re next.” Her smile is too wide as she looks through you. “I know a lot of nice doctors.” She releases your wrist and you hurry over to your mother.
It’s your grandmother’s funeral. You’re twenty-five. Viewing is only for the family. Your sister can’t look. You step behind the velvet curtain separating her lifeless form from the rest of the room alone. When you peer into the casket it seems like her lips move. You lean over the coffin and place your face closer to hers. “You’re next.”
Your cousins don’t understand why you don’t want any of your grandmother’s jewelry.
-Your best friend invites you to tailgate the OSU/Michigan Game. “We’re going all out this year,” she tells you. “This game is really important.” You dress in scarlet and gray. Your friend is painting your face for the game. When she streaks some paint down your nose, some drips onto your lips. Without thinking, your tongue darts out. The paint is salty and warm. “We’re going to kill them this year,” your friend states vehemently as she continues to cover your face with red.
-When you first moved to Ohio, everyone told you it was a test market. What are they testing? Who are they?
-Everyone from your high school goes to Ohio State, Ohio University, or Miami of Ohio. You don’t apply to any of those schools. It’s November of your senior year of high school when the calls start. “Have you considered Ohio State University?” You politely decline. The calls continue for two weeks, then stop abruptly. The phone rings at 3 am one night in December. After 5 back to back calls, you pick up, coughing to dislodge the sleepy crackle in your voice. On the other end of the line you can hear them panting. “… Have you considered Ohio State University?” The voice breathes into the phone.