The Bumps in the Wall | Christian Berk

I lie in my bed and I think about things. The sheets are soft and warm, but they’re starting to smell a little like me and that’s my sign that I should probably wash them soon. I can’t stop thinking about the bad things that make me sad. I try to listen to the fan to make them go away. Hummmm. I listen. Hummmm. But that doesn’t work for long.

I think, “I just want to hold her hand.” Then I think no, I shouldn’t think that. Then I can feel it inside of my chest beating hard and slow. It makes me want to cry so bad. Don’t you remember how we smiled, once, like I do? I suppose you don’t anymore, that’s okay.

I still have it written down in my notebook. July 3, 11:51 p.m. I wrote it down exactly like you told me on that night when we conquered the stars. I remember you told me about what you see when you look into the sky. You told me you can see that we’re really floating in space and it’s really moving all around us and we’re really just tiny specks in this big universe. You told me that this world we live in is in 3-D and sometimes people just forget to look up! And you told me like you had never told anyone else in the whole world because you hadn’t because they were your secrets about space and you looked into my eyes when you told me that you could trust me to keep them safe because nobody else would understand like I do.

I think of your blinking green eyes and I wonder why I can’t see them right now. And I can feel it inside of my chest beating hard and slow. And it makes me want to yell! It makes me want to scream! “Listen to it!” Hummmm. “Listen to it!!” I say. Hummmmmmmmm.

But it doesn’t work for long so I cry a little.

Then I open my eyes and look at the little bumps on the wall and I run my fingers across them all. I look at all of the little white cities and villages and mountains and valleys. I run my fingers across them all and I’m okay. I count them one, two. “Like the stars in the sky,” God said to Abraham. I count them three, four like my blessings and I’m okay. It’s okay.


Christian Berk first began writing at a very young age. Inspired by the poetry of his grandfather, he began scribbling prose and poetry alike in his spare time. Christian is currently a freshman at Point Loma Nazarene University working on his first short novel Telemachus, a follow-up to Origins, his book of poems and short stories.

About TOSKA

Nonfiction for the restless soul. Published online quarterly.

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