We are sorry for any inconvenience
caused by our need to cancel your flight and route you through Detroit, the one city in the world you vowed you’d never visit again after your brother never made it to the funeral home that Saturday and you were left to say goodbye to your father alone, fuming, till you got the inconvenient call that reeled you to the hospital where you found him. We are sorry for any inconvenience is scrawled across the door to the toilet where the nurse has directed you after you watched your brother’s tears stain his pillow and you knew that was only the beginning of his suffering but the toilet is closed for cleaning and you’ll have to vomit elsewhere. We are sorry for any inconvenience is scribbled on the bag that covers the parking meter meaning you can’t park here even though you are bringing your brother to the station so he can board a train that will take him the place where they will turn him into a killing machine with a convenient lack of feeling. We are sorry for any inconvenience is written at the bottom of the letter from the Dept of Veterans Affairs saying no he doesn’t qualify for psychiatric treatment. Your forehead pressed against the glass of the Detroit airport window, you watch the planes lift off one after another and you call the only number you have to try to reach your brother to tell him before it’s too late you are so very sorry. We are sorry for any inconvenience–a recorded voice takes responsibility for it all. And you stand there holding the phone dangling at the end of a lifeline as the inconvenient minutes tick away.
Deborah was born with a plastic pen in her hand. By the time she left home for college she had a ‘body of work’ written on envelop backs and inside homemade journals. All of her early work was destroyed in a train fire and her career as an author was briefly derailed. College, grad school, marriage, parenthood and a 30 year career as a clinical psychologist were all delaying tactics. Finally out of appealing distractions, she returned to her destined life path and began writing full-time. Two non-fiction books, many short stories, pieces of flash fiction and poetry later, she is deep into her first novel. An MFA student at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts and a certified Amherst Writers and Artists group leader, Deborah courts her muse on a rainy island in the Salish Sea.
–Art by Natalia Drepina