When the sanding was over, all was quiet, but the notes started to appear on her door, as if he’d never used a power tool in the building. You make a lot of noise at night, walking around, the first note said. It was written on a Farmville post-it. The note was hard to form a reply to. There was no question to answer. And she didn’t walk around at night much, her shift ending at nine, her body ready for bed. Is there a need to move chairs and couches when you get home from work? the next one said. She wasn’t moving furniture. The condo was so small there was no place to move furniture to. A week later: I can hear you chop celery. This made her laugh, because she was allergic to celery. She swept the kitchen floor and let the broom handle go a few times, telling herself it slipped.
Martha Clarkson manages corporate workplace design in Seattle. Her poetry, photography, and fiction can be found in monkeybicycle, Clackamas Literary Review, Seattle Review, Alimentum, Hawaii Pacific Reivew. She is a recipient of a Pushcart Nomination, and is listed under “Notable Stories,” Best American Non-Required Reading for 2007 and 2009. She is recipient of best short story, 2012, Anderbo/Open City prize, for “Her Voices, Her Room.”