In the Pitch Sad

By Nicole Starker Campbell

The light always leaves slowly. It creeps away soundlessly.

June held so much promise. Now, the heels she bought for sunny walks to her new job sit in her closet. There are no more happy hours with coworkers. Sunlit bike rides at 10 p.m. have fallen into the flicker of Netflix binges. 

She misses her desk—one of the few in the cubicle maze with a view. She enjoyed the way the sunlight moved around her photos as the hours ticked by. Sunburned in a jeep with her best friend in Belize; her nieces building sandcastles.

It’s always like this. When the pitch black enters and stays inside her like a solitary sleeping bear. Immovable until spring. This year she lasted until December 21, when the chemicals in her brain got wise to the lumens from the light box, and she left with the light.

Nicole Starker Campbell left the cubicle to pursue work that doesn’t require wearing shoes. She currently lives and writes in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and her favourite people tell her she’s a cool aunt.