There’s Medication For That

by kaen joyler 

We’ve all been up for a while.  Connor woke up just after Letterman.  He didn’t wake up all at once, but every few minutes called out, “Mommy.”  He climbs into bed with us without opening his eyes. 

We don’t turn the TV back on until two-thirty when Mom gets out of bed to get Connor something to eat.  He’s said he’s hungry.  When she gets back, Mom starts talking about how she thinks there’s something wrong with him—she doesn’t really want to say but I encourage her. 

She thinks he’s being controlled by an outside source.  She actually says this then sort of drops it.  That’s when I start talking.  I know she’s not listening ‘cause she interrupts me:  Connor’s not the same, I’m not the same.  I’m a different person than I was. 

I don’t want to get into it with her, so I let that go, but she’s gotten back to this thing about whispered voices in her ear.  That’s what she says, there’s something “wrong” with Connor’s and my ears. 

We turn the light out after negotiating a new diaper with Connor.  He wants it on to watch Blue’s Clues.  He crawls over our legs, stands up to reach the light, but I’ve already unplugged it. 

He crawls back across my body, kissing my right shoulder on his way.  So I say, I love you too, which is not only an appropriate response to his behavior, but is also something he has said to me three or four times in the last week unprompted. 

When I say this, Mom explodes out of bed.  I can see that she believes I was responding to the little whispered voice and not to my son. 

So I get out of the bedroom and I’m not going back in there.


After leaving the MFA program at the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 1993 by bicycle, kaen joyler found his way to South Korea where he flies under radar, teaching EFL at Seokyeong University in Seoul.   He has had fiction published at, and is the editor of agora journal, a free e-zine that can be found at  He is also negotiating his thesis with Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in hopes of obtaining the sheepskin he once turned his back on.

Published on December 31, 2007 at 5:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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