After smashing the last mirror, he took his
head in both hands and removed it from his body. Not as difficult a
maneuver as you might think. A simple matter of knowing which
direction to turn. Righty tighty, lefty loosy. The problem came
once the head was off and resting on the table, facing his body.
The beige button up barely covering his growing paunch. Sprouts of
grey hair curling out the collar. A picture he’d seen before.
He plucked out the eyes with his thumb and
forefinger. Nothing changed. So, he tried to stuff the eyes back
in the head, but they popped out and landed on the floor. Now they
were dirty. Patting the wood, he found one, and then squashed the
other with his knee. He carried the remaining eye to the kitchen
sink, feeling his way along the wall. He rinsed it carefully and
dried it with a paper towel. That’s when he bumped into the
portable television on the counter.
The scotch tape was in the junk drawer. He
tore off long strips and taped the eye to the middle of the screen.
Feeling better now, he unplugged the set and placed it on his
He pulled a coat from the hall closet and
stepped into the morning air. Trash Day. He was almost sure he
could hear overstuffed trashcans rumbling down the sidewalk, autumn
leaves crunching beneath the wheels.
“Morning,” his neighbor, Rick, would shout from
next door. “How you doing?”
“Never better,” he would reply, standing
proudly in the middle of his driveway.
The words echoed within the cavern of his
He removed the TV from his shoulders and turned
it so that the screen faced him. He tore away the eye and tossed it
into the street, then dropped the TV on the driveway. When it
didn’t break, he picked it up and threw it down. The screen
shattered. He knelt among the shards, fingering the fragments until
he found one the right size.
We’ve come full circle. There must be a way
out of this loop. Or perhaps not. Perhaps this circle is as close
as we get to hope.
Peter Grandbois would like to
remind the gentle reader that his brother Daniel (whose work also
appears in this issue) is a younger brother and therefore prone to
fits of exaggeration if not downright duplicity. Though this author
does acknowledge the ignominious childhood nickname, he would like
to take exception to the alleged "arrhythmic way he gyrated" while
playing his guitar solos in the high school band, and take this
opportunity to remind his younger brother of the class in
astrophysics they took together while studying at the University of
Colorado, specifically the unit on special relativity and quantum
physics. It was not that said alleged gyration was arrhythmic but
rather that said gyration created its own Einstein-Rosen Bridge to a
parallel universe subject to a similar but subtly different tempo.