“What I Did on the Moon,” by Dean Bakopoulos

What I Did on the Moon,” a short story by fiction faculty member Dean Bakopoulos, recently appeared in the LEON Literary Review. Read an excerpt below:

Faculty member Dean Bakopoulos smiles at the camera in a blue gingham button down with a green t-shirt underneath.

What I Did on the Moon

Well, I had some drinks. I yearned for you. I dug up my father’s bones and watched them float off into the ether. I ignored my infirm mother. I engaged with various shadows. One night, I saw a light flickering flickering below me. I went to a tower I’d crafted from rocks and climbed it so I could better see the light. It was coming from my house. My children were signaling to me. I went to the special crater I use for listening. I listened. I could hear their voices like so much mewing. I whispered into the whisper-hole I made with a blow torch.
            “Are you mewing for me?” I said.
            I waited to hear their voices but they’d fallen asleep.
            I listened to their sleeping all night.
            I had memorized the sounds of their sleeping.
            I could sing along to the smell of their breaths. I knew the scores of their dreams.
            When I was without them, I found the nearest people. It’s what you do after a divorce. There are some people, you think, I’ll sit next to them. You’re healing from a fracture. People see it when you say, Hi, everybody!
            That’s what I would say, sitting down at, say, the Applebee’s bar? Hi, everybody! What are the app specials? Wow, check this out: Mega Mug of Miller! $4.99!
            The Applebee’s often closed early on the Moon. I had to find other resources to expand my circle of friends.
            On the moon, there is a swiping app that assists with this, with finding people to sit with. To sup with. Lo, I stand at the door and swipe. Swipe swipe swipe.
            One woman made me dinner. She made a pasta dish in an overly lemony sauce. I was thirty-eight and having dinner with a woman I’d just met in her cluttered dining room. I kept thinking to myself how notable it was and how her hair was piled on her head, how her earrings shimmied as she grated the parmesan. What notable earrings! They were handmade, she said. Handmade!
            By an artist!
            An artist in Santa Fe!
            It was also probably notable-feeling because I was on the moon. I was skinny that year. I ate my pasta without self-consciousness. I don’t ever want to be that skinny again. Jesus. Yes I do.
            Afterwards, I helped the woman do the dishes. She started the dishwasher and put on Sade and I went for my keys but she asked me to unzip her dress. This. Is. No. Ordinary Love. I hadn’t dated since college, so I asked for clarification.
            All the way, I asked.
            Mm-hmm, she said.
            Is this a request for practical assistance before I leave for the night, I asked, Or is this an invitation to stay?
            Mm-hmm, she said.
            I see, I said, and started to unzip the dress then stopped.
            I’m sorry, I said, if I am ruining the mood but I need clarification. I didn’t ask a yes/no question but you keep saying, mm-hmm.
            Stop talking, she said.

Read the story in its entirety here: http://leonliteraryreview.com/issue-5-dean-bakopoulos/