Sep/Oct 2018 • Vol. XL No. 5 Fiction |

The White Spot

When I was nine, my parents went through a bitter custody battle over me. In the end, the judge decided that I should live with my mother Mondays through Saturdays and go for visits with my father every Saturday night and Sunday. Back then, my father was on call at the hospital seven days a week, and he had no one to look after me during the hours he had to work, so he started bringing me to the hospital with him on Sundays and keeping me in the break room on the same floor where his patients were located. The break room was only about the size of two closets. It had a coarse, plaid sofa, a low-hanging, spherical leather chair, a coffee maker and mugs, a sink, some cabinets, a telephone, and a laminated poster above the telephone that was called Screening Guidelines for Invasive Carcinomas, which was put out by the American Academy of Pathology. That first day in the hospital, which was my first time in a hospital since birth, I tried to sit up straight on the plaid sofa and rea

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Jonathan Blum is the author of Last Word (Rescue Press, 2013), a novella, which was named one of the best books of the year by Iowa Public Radio. His story collection, The Usual Uncertainties, is forthcoming from Rescue Press. He is the recipient of a 2016 Hawthornden fellowship in Scotland and was a guest writer at the 2016 Tianjin Binhai New Area International Writing Program in China. His short stories have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Playboy, and Sonora Review. He lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches fiction writing workshops.

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