Cover Photo: Illustration by Meryl Rowin for Catapult
Illustration by Meryl Rowin for Catapult

The Encroachment of Waking Life

The man in the fur hat warned me things might be different after we crossed the time barrier—that my presence might confound, even frighten those who’d forgotten me.

Just after noon, I drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a shadow of what it once was. Nuclear fallout from a bomb that detonated more than four hundred miles away and years ago in Seattle left the bridge standing, but discolored; black rust creeps from the edges of its beams into the dulled red paint, like waking life encroaching on a dream. The lunar blue of the water seems higher now, closer to the bridge.







What. Are. You


no, no

He’ll try to hurt me again. I terrify him as much as he terrifies me

Let go let go let go!

Anita Felicelli is the author of a short story collection LOVE SONGS FOR A LOST CONTINENT (Stillhouse Press) and CHIMERICA: A NOVEL (forthcoming from WTAW Press, 2019). Her reviews and essays have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, the NYT (Modern Love), and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter @anitafelicelli.