The Bank of Michigan gave my grandfather a banquet at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac
Island in the late seventies. While my parents watched television, I snuck out of the hotel room
to explore. Almost immediately, I found myself locked out of the fire escape seven stories up.
At seven years old, I pounded on the glass, kicked at the molding, and wept so loudly that the
napping woman in the adjacent room woke up, opened the door for me, and let me inside her
room until I cooled off. Later that night, at the disco party, I ran into her, and she told the entire
story to my parents in full detail—the whimpering, the snot, the shaking, my face in the pillow,
and how long it took for the pillow to dry. But I didn’t let her get away with it. The next day I
broke into her room, rifled through her belongings, and stole her checkbook. During the next
school year, I sometimes took the checks to class and showed them off to friends. We would
scribble in vast sums and then set the paper on fire. Every so often, even twenty years later, I’ll
write out something small. Ten or twenty bucks. Just enough to go unnoticed.
Tim Fitts is the author of the short story collection Hypothermia (MadHat Press, 2017) and The Soju Club (Loupe). Fitts teaches in the Liberal Arts Department of the Curtis Institute of Music and is a frequent guest on the Painted Bride Quarterly’s “Slushpile.” His fiction has been published by Granta, The Gettysburg Review, Faultline, Shenandoah, CutBank, among others. His story, “Sand On Sand Yellow,” is available on Amazon, free to Kindle users. Follow Tim on Twitter @timfitts77.