The Dead Man

The dead man... no wait. That's not correct.  He was a man before he was dead.  That's true enough, but when he was dead, he was just pieces that were left.  The man wasn't there any more.  He was there, and there, and there.  I was in the crowd that day.  Something hit me in the chest like a small rock spinning through the air.  It was a piece of bone.  Skull? Arm? Jaw?  Who could tell?  It was flat, slippery with blood and sinew on one side, and rough red marrow on the other.  Very warm.  I slipped it in my inside jacket pocket. I don't know why.  The police took hours, asking questions, the same questions, over and over to everyone.  I thought they would tell us something in the end, give us some explanation.  But they didn't.  They told us all we should go home.  I couldn't go home.  I couldn't take these thoughts into my home before I knew what they meant, before I made some sense of them.   I walked for a long time.  I never reached into my pocket, but a couple of times I opened my jacket and looked in.  I only saw darkness.  The bone was in that darkness.  The darkness was in my pocket. 

I wanted to think, but I wasn't thinking much, I was just walking.  I realized my ears were ringing quite badly.  I walked into a small bistro, and managed to get myself onto a barstool up against a wall.  I was able to order a beer by a series of points, nods, and pantomimes, and settled into an emotional cocoon while I sipped it.  There's definitely something wrong with me.  I came to that conclusion.  Maybe its post-traumatic stress, whatever that is.  I don't know, is that a permanent condition or temporary?  I pressed my coat against my chest and felt the chip of bone.  The darkness in my pocket covered my heart.  There was definitely something wrong with me.  My name is Gallun, by the way.  Jon Gallun.

The End

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