He said, you can feel it as it starts to happen. You start to taste it.
And I stood there, immersed in his humility, with that little bit of blood he had missed between his nostrils.
He was branded when I met him, long sleeves rolled up high enough that it showed. I see a lot of scripture. The names of people. But I hadn’t seen a boy with a black flower, before.
When I got up close I saw that it was dated. Like little wooden crosses you see on the side of the road.
I made sure to shout something rude in his direction whenever I walked by. New hire and all. Some of my coworkers reported that they didn’t like him – said he was awkward. Eventually I told him so.
“I’m not awkward!”
The thought crossed my mind to explain it. How I came to regard him the moment I picked up on his uncertainty and made sure to speak a certain way or say a certain thing. And that once I broke though that, how he seemed okay and even likable.
He showed up to the holiday party wearing a pocket watch and a vest – I asked, “What kind of shit is this?” and he just smiled and whipped the bowling balls down the alley like he didn’t give a fuck. They had to tell him to stop throwing them so far out because they would smash on the wood and spin out of control.
At random he proclaimed, “I’m so happy! I finally got one of my knives back.” Then there was something about the generational wave of cutters, the marks I know were there, although he never comes out and just says it.
He came from California. On his old driver’s license he is wearing a bow tie. He will tell you that he watches anime and reads manga and plays silly games on the computer and you will shake your head, silently wondering what you’ve missed since you did, too.
Abbey noticed that of all the easy targets, I never gossip about him. We always play this game, since I have to constantly enforce policy, that I am The Villainess.
“My evil powers will not touch that boy.”
“Wow. I think that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said.”
On his arm, is someone who died. Every day he wakes up and she killed herself and William doesn’t want her to ever go away.
It pisses me off. I fail to see what she accomplished in order to deserve that. Part of him should not be decided by the poor decision from an awful tragedy when there is still beauty to behold. It interrupts the space between his wrist and his elbow. There are so much better things within. I get so fed up if he comes around and I see it at the wrong time. I hate how it catches my eye.
He just cut his hair on influence from Dr. Who. It used to hang over into his eyes and now you can see his sideburns. See his eyebrows. He shouldn’t be carrying out that television without a jacket –
“Someone’s in love.”
I turn around and glare at the little girl behind the register. She really needs to shut her mouth. Always watching me. Making remarks. For nothing.
In the hub a bunch of us were eating Thanksgiving dinner. A movie was playing on opposite walls, some action, some funny lines in the middle of explosions. When I looked up the hero’s family was sinking in a vehicle submerged in water.
“Why do the backstories always have to be so terrible?” William mused, sitting across the room.
I stuck my plastic fork in the stuffing. Never looking away from my plate I said, “Why is there someone who always has to die.”
It wasn’t until I caught myself staring at his bloody nose, wondering why that never happened to me, if it tasted like when I used to wriggle loose baby teeth with my tongue, that I was like okay.
Maybe his fuckin’ pocket watch…maybe his bow tie… is wonderful.