The Painful Love and Gratifying Hatred

I do the same thing every night.

I climb the moaning stairs and head straight for the nursery. I change my little one and sing her the sweetest songs I can think of. When I rock her, lullabies punctuated by the squeaks of my old wooden chair, I fret. I fret about the things that run in families: the tendencies and fates that flow through us, inherited as blood. I think of the darkness that seeps from one generation into the next—the curses that are passed down and played out—decade after decade. Even in the midst of these profound thoughts, there are realities that flutter just over my head: the ironic patterns that connect our lives behind our backs, and the experiences that we are completely unaware we have in common.

I lay Dolly down in her crib with utmost care and tuck her favorite blanket under her chin:

Adorable.

Rubber.

Perfect.

It brings me peace to know that the madness of my family—the loneliness, the hidden symmetry, the inaction and the violence, the painful love and the gratifying hatred—cannot live on through her.

Sophie Kearing

About Sophie Kearing

Sophie Kearing lives in Chicago with her furbabies and an overworked Nespresso machine. A writer of long tweets and short fiction, her work has been featured by Mojave Heart Review, Spelk Fiction, Elephants Never, Horror Tree, Ellipsis Zine, New Pop Lit, Me First Magazine, Lunate Literary Journal, and other publications. She was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize and she's an avid member of the #5amwritersclub on Twitter. She'd love to connect with you at https://twitter.com/SophieKearing

Sophie Kearing lives in Chicago with her furbabies and an overworked Nespresso machine. A writer of long tweets and short fiction, her work has been featured by Mojave Heart Review, Spelk Fiction, Elephants Never, Horror Tree, Ellipsis Zine, New Pop Lit, Me First Magazine, Lunate Literary Journal, and other publications. She was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize and she's an avid member of the #5amwritersclub on Twitter. She'd love to connect with you at https://twitter.com/SophieKearing

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *