“In Conversation with a Recurring Character from the Nighttime” by Jessalyn Johnson


This is a ride at an amusement park. It has a red lap bar and a pouch to store my belongings. I am questioning whether or not it will exit through the gift shop or if someone will offer to sell me a photo with an appropriately themed border frame. I take the photo but cannot find the gift shop and no one asks me for any money. 

When I walk outside I am unsure of my whereabouts, curious as to how I might find my way back to the amusement park ride that has somehow disappeared. I see a house that is completely upended, but stepping inside I realize it just seems this way because I am alone, and all the books are still facing the right way. The air smells faintly of last night’s lasagna. 

A man I may have met before approaches me and asks that I notice his wardrobe, which mimics mine exactly, and in return I ask him what’s going on but he doesn’t respond for several minutes. Instead he offers me a piece of fruit I don’t recognize and I take it to be polite. 

I say thank you and he looks me in the eye and says to me you cannot measure numbers with love and you cannot measure love with numbers, and he says this over and over and over again until I promise to believe him. 

Jessalyn Johnson is a writer from Central Florida currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She has a degree in English Literature and currently attends The New School’s MFA Creative Writing Program. Her work is featured in Maudlin House, Barren Magazine, and Soft Cartel, among others.

Twitter: @jessalyn451
Instagram: @jessalynjohnson
or visit her at: jessalynjohnson.com


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