Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016


by T. K. Lee

Tony Bennett was in the bathroom? He was
singing, in the bathroom, awake and loud, while
the house stood, singular, constant and as usual,
beneath the weight of drunk adverbs, loose nouns.
The dog was asleep; no, no, he had died already.
The cat was asleep; I was sightseeing in the kitchen,
I was, touring the cabinets. I was lost and found
by the sink, and then again by the last good back
door in America that I know of. It’s a shame that
I haven’t replaced those blinds on the window
of such a good back door. It leaves a little hole
open, and if it weren’t for the chain link fence,
any other stranger could stand on the back steps 
and create a catalogue of my eating habits: crackers
and mayonnaise; beer; boiled eggs and tuna;
Kraft singles; coffee with a little milk, no sugar;
bourbon, for the late afternoons with pajama legs
for napkins; Ziploc bags for leftovers that are left over.
Yes, of course Tony Bennett was in the bathroom.
There’s only the one CD player in the whole, sad house.
I find the hairbrush and pretend to sing along because
I know these words by blackout. “It only happens
when I dance with you / that trip to Heaven ’til the
dance is through.” There was an alarm suddenly.
Somewhere. The clock on the microwave, or, no,
the cell phone; that alarm is set on repeat. I realize
I’m late for work. Again. I’m still in the bathroom,
hairbrush in hand. Tony has finished his concert.
I’m the only one left in the audience, again, and I 
realize it, okay, goddamn, I’m aware of it. The mirror.
I’d thrown up on it. I see vomit in the sink, I see
it in my hair. I brush it out with my microphone.
I see a man in the mirror, too, but the gold frame
the mirror is in is much more beautiful. I ignore him.
I stare at the frame instead, and make myself jealous
until I tear up enough to relax and call in sick again. 


SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

T. K. Lee’s

work has been published in Quail Bell Press, Belle Rêve Literary Journal, Jabberwock Review, The Louisville Review, Deep South Magazine, Quarterly Journal of Ideology, Bayou Magazine, Every Day Fiction, Literary House Review, and Analecta. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in short fiction. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and has won awards from the Mississippi Theatre Association, the Indiana Theatre Association, and the New Orleans Literary Festival.

Lee received an MFA in playwriting from Spalding University and a master’s degree in English Education with an emphasis in theatre from Mississippi State University. For the greater part of his professional life, he’s been a college instructor. He is currently a visiting writer in the MFA Creative Writing program at the Mississippi University for Women.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury