Fiction- A Brutal Thought
Written by -M. Taggart
A Brutal Thought
‘Did you see that? He’s on the back deck. He leaned over the railing and puked blood. It was all over his t-shirt too.’ Mona said. ‘I’m serious.’
They drove further and she no longer could see the man standing on the deck. ‘Should we go back? Or call someone?’
‘Call who? He did it to himself. All that booze he drinks.’ Eric said.
‘Even if he is a drunk he might be a good person.’ Mona said.
‘All he does is sit inside. Each day. He does nothing. I don’t know what kind of man does that. Rachel says he stands in front of his windows early in the morning, naked with the lights on, hoping someone sees him. Fuck that guy. I hope he pukes blood. I hope he kills himself.’ Eric said.
Pete leaned away from the window. He could hear a car coming. He lived on a dead end street. He was working with his shirt off. He was writing a marketing campaign and he’d just finished the first draft. He liked to work near the window. When his eyes became irritated from the screen he’d look from the screen to the woods and back again. Making his pupils adjust. Then he’d blink rapidly.
A neighbor once drove by and looked into the window of his office just as he stood from his desk. It was 5 am and dark outside. His office light had been on. Just as he stood, his neighbor, Rachel, drove by his office window. He wore only briefs. On that morning he couldn’t sleep. He’d been up late testing a new product and wanted to finish the process.
The car passing by was Joe. Joe wouldn’t care if his shirt was on or off. Joe knew he worked his ass off. Joe had once asked what he did for employment. He liked when someone asked. He felt to assume was a human condition making the race less intelligent on a daily schedule. When Joe had asked, he’d taken his phone out of his pocket and showed him exactly what he did. ‘You think of that shit?’ asked Joe. ‘Yup. I do.’ Joe drove through and gave a quick honk. He could see Joe’s hand waving over the roof of his car.
It was late afternoon. There was a breeze that moved the leaves around nicely and there were huge puffy clouds to look at. He wanted to be outside. He wanted to celebrate his new client and to cheers the afternoon sun. Every day he promised himself to find something to celebrate. A new idea, a good conversation, a line from Hemingway that shredded his being to the core; or for being alive and watching a cloud formation float overhead knowing it’d never been seen before and will never be seen again. He tossed a white t-shirt on and walked to the kitchen to begin his transition from work, to life on the deck with a beer and a book.
The beer was very dark. It was nearly thick. It was a strong porter. He poured the porter quickly into a frosted mug that had been in the freezer. The head was an inch thick. Watching the foam shrink and lower he poured the remaining beer from the bottle to his mug. The deck and the sun begged him to join them. Though of course wood and sunshine can’t speak, not normally. But they do, in fact, they do. Especially if you’re able to listen, he thought.
He pulled the sliding glass door open and stepped onto the deck. The beer sloshed and foamed up. He had tripped slightly and now wore a bit of beer on his t-shirt. ‘Adds to the moment’, he thought. He took a pull of beer, which was mostly foam, and leaned over the deck railing to spit it out. He noticed Eric and Mona’s vehicle passing by. Mona’s eyes flashed in his direction. He wanted to wave, but they were gone too quickly. He hoped they’d had a nice day.
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