Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Five Men

I could feel the hair on his head reverberate like a guitar string, sizzling as though electrified, not limp and dying like the graying strands of my own. I ran my fingers through it while he slept. It was an intimate gesture I was uncomfortable with, but something I couldn't stop myself from doing. He opened his eyes, startled. My hands, buried in mounds of clean black hair, moved in their shame to his throat. I stopped them, turned, and ran from the room.

---

White rabbits shoot out from under his fingernails when no one is looking, but the moment an audience gathers he goes numb and can't lift his arms from his sides.

---

He took a small crumble of brick from Ground Zero and now it sits in his office, staring at him from the corner. Nearly 3000 souls were absorbed by the dusty composition of the stone that day. He wasn't sure why he took it from the site, but now that he has he knows he can't get rid of it. He can't put all those souls out in the alley with the eggshells and coffee grounds of his daily waste.

---

He bought a gun to shoot at the geese that shit all over his back yard, clumping the grass and fouling the wet Spring air, but the weight of the weapon scared him. Instead, he sits out on the porch with the rifle in his lap pretending he is the kind of man that could raise it to his shoulder and fire.

---

He once saved a child's life. The girl started to step out into traffic without looking and he had gotten a handful of her coat, pulling her back onto the littered curb. The girl didn't realize the magnitude of the moment, and crossed without a word when the flashing "Walk" sign threw its green neon into the air. He could only stand there and watch her disappear, wishing there was someone he could share this moment with.