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Things I've Gained

In Fiction on August 25, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Cradling the candle, he feels it is set, so he goes to the refrigerator to fetch the milk. He reads the label: the milk is whole. Having purchased the milk with the last of his funds, this is something he should know, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise, and yet it does come as a surprise. He drops the milk and the gallon splits, thus soaking his slippers in vitamin D goodness. Hurriedly, he squishes back to the desk, flame of the candle flapping like cloth. The milk has proven him wrong.

He studies the paper, re-reads the lines. They seem true, they seemed true then, before, before the milk, before the sopping toes, before the dawn—it is dark. He studies the paper, then adds to the list of ‘Things I’ve Sacrificed to Write’.

1) Friends, or Teddy and Bill

2) Girlfriends, or Susan, Marsha, and Misty

3) Job, or steady income

4) Gas-powered transportation, or my 1987 Chevy Blazer

5) Soon, my home, or where I keep my shit

6) Sleep, or the old mind with which I dreamed

He sniffs the air, frowning. His hand moves.

7) Toilet paper, or personal hygiene

8) Laundry detergent, or the stuff I used before I found the river

Through the window, the pink plush of day rolls toward his slippers. He is thirsty. The list is not complete. The milk was right. He removes a slipper from his dirty foot and wrings it, wrings it loud and twisting, then catches, catches the vitamin D goodness on his wagging tongue. He smiles, then kisses the slipper.

9) Shame, or what people told me was wrong

10) Fear, or the things at which I could never look, but that I now fuck, fuck, fuck, laughing.

Mel Bosworth lives and breathes in Western Massachusetts. In the summer he works on his farmer’s tan, and in the winter he longs for his farmer’s tan. Read more at No More Hot Lunches for Eddie Socko.

  1. 12. Awesome … fuck, someone already said that.

  2. How did you do that? Thanks, 13.

  3. understand this, i do.

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