Spider Legs and Glass Shards (2)


DW0407_BATL_02They stand for a few moments, the same pained clown smiles stretched on their faces. Derek’s hair hasn’t been cut since they broke up last fall. It hangs in his face, greasy locks thinned out with age. He pushes it to the left, to cover his eye, the one that a BB gun ripped into when he was twelve. She loves his eye, all lazy with a permanently fixed pupil encased in glass.

“I can’t sing in Caragan House. I can’t sing with all of those people around,” he sighs. He turns his entire head so he can use his good eye. He faces the downtrodden, two-story building that houses 30 men. Three rusty coffee cans line the cement steps, overflowing with yellowed cigarette butts. The butts of 30 men who are ordered to make their beds by 7:00 in the morning, who aren’t allowed back into their rooms until late afternoon, who have to pee in plastic cups as staff people watch. They live under this rule because they have to; it’s a court-ordered halfway house for drug addicts and alcoholics.

“Shit, there’s these guys who are old…I mean really old. Their eyes are hopeless, dead. They’re like 40 or 50 and still listening to someone tell them when to brush their teeth. I might as well be homeless,” he says.

His eye suddenly brightens with light bulb brilliance. “Yeah, homeless! I can get one of those “need money” signs and turn over my social security check to you, ya know, to help with the bills.”

“I don’t want your money,” she says and sips her coffee. He’s the only one who knows how she likes her coffee. When they lived together, he used to make it for her every morning before she woke up. He must have had some scientific formula, some odd water to coffee ratio or a secret grinding technique. Since they parted, the coffee she makes always tastes like shit.


7 Responses to “Spider Legs and Glass Shards (2)”

  1. 1 fojap

    When I was in high school, I had a bit of a crush on a guy with a glass eye. Funny, I’d forgotten about his eye.

  2. Heartbreaking last paragraph 😉

    • Thanks! It is, isn’t it? Funny, when you write, sometimes you don’t notice the impact certain words, tones might have. Thanks for keeping up!

  3. Reading what you write is like coming home, it feels so good.

    • I feel the same way about your writing! I am impressed with how you are able to capture the madness, energy, the creativity bipolar brings.

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