Peeping Bomb

I went to bed that night like it was Christmas Eve and I was a toddler awaiting the magical gifts of Santa Clause. I had the bed sheets clutched in my fists up to my chin and every few minutes I giggled in excitement. Not even the squeaks of wall rats could douse my mood tonight because come morning; my validation would come jogging down that path at precisely 8:40. Sighing with silent pleasure I drifted off to sleep. The sirens and crying people outside are lost to my fulfilling dreams.

At 8:38 the next morning I had the table set. My plate was full and the binoculars in full focus. The day was crystal clear and not a cloud in the sky. Unable to wait I began digging into some corned beef hash, allowing the coconut cream on my pancake to mingle with it on my fork before taking my first bite. The first bite went to the sixth and the sixth to the twenty-second before I realized Abby and Zeus were nowhere to be seen. I glanced back at the clock. 9:06. They were never late. I’d watched for two years and never once were they late.

I finished my breakfast, disappointed at not being able to enjoy more than I’d wanted to. Still nothing emerged from trees on the far side of the park. No pink. No yellow. No turquoise. No cream. No nothing. Just a dull day of watching firemen pluck gray bodies out of the rubble across the street. Saddened I got dressed in my gray jump suit and grabbed my flashlight on the way out the door, wondering the entire time what could’ve become of my beloved Abby and her faithful jogging companion.

That day became a whole week. I grew so frustrated that I looked up her address I’d kept in my journal and walked twenty blocks to see what had become of her. The small apartment window at the top of her building was lifeless. Nothing but a black abyss beyond which I could not see. I thought about climbing the fire escape and breaking the window sill to get inside but it was the middle of the day and knew I’d be seen. My Abby had abdicated.

#

A month later and I was heading home in the late morning. The pink slip in my fist was all crumpled. My fireworks prank had apparently set the funeral procession, including the body, on fire. It was meant to be a grand send off, something to get me out of the endless chute of boredom I was in. Now I was returning to my roach motel without work where I could see the bright red eviction notices plastered over my door waiting for me.

Before reaching the front door of my building, I heard a host of people behind me. They sang hymns and held candles while a few dropped flowers or wreaths near where the entrance used to be. Such a shame. It had been the crowning laurel to my demolition years and all a waste because the prize I sought had moved away. A couple, who saw me, head down, came up to me and offered their condolences, placing their arms around me. Together we sang the next four hymns with the crowd. It helped a little, but not much. I thanked them for their kindness. Feeling somewhat better I turned to head for the dark crag of my building when the faint flicker of the candles lit up something I hadn’t noticed before.





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