Gretchen Dietz

Photo Credit: Judy van der Velden/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd)

Photo Credit: Judy van der Velden/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd)

It is important to check up on things. Calendars, to-do lists. Emails. Check the status of online shopping orders. Check the number of weeks in the semester. Check the number of minutes I jog, the number of laps I swim, the amount of time to cook the basmati rice. Check the balance on the bank account. Check the balance on the credit card. Check for fraud. Check the cupboards for tea. Check the plants to see if they need water. Check the record player’s needle to see if it’s worn. Check the record for smudges. Check the bathtub for mold. Check the current supply of household necessities—toilet paper, ice cubes, clean socks. Check the original 1970s thermostat and question its level of accuracy. Check the time. Check the mail. Check the purse for essentials—wallet, hand sanitizer, pen. Check the face for blemishes. Check the hair for renegade strands. Write a check for the rent and take it downstairs past the industrial dryer toward the brown door with two signs labeled “OFFICE” and open the tarnished brass letter slot. Drop it in. Listen for the faint whisper of sound as it lands on the cool tile.

pencilGretchen L. Dietz is working on a PhD in English at Miami University and the end is in sight. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Oklahoma Review and Lipstickparty Mag. Email: dietzgl[at]

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