Stars, Broken Bones, and an Abundance of Glass

In black cloudless night, the stars are everywhere and Ted thought for a moment that maybe it hurts that he’ll never touch them. It’s a small jump from there to realize that each one of those pinholes is bigger than he can comprehend. Gears and cogs laid bare, Ted feels small in the abundant presence of the universe. He’d love to be smaller than a door frame but for that moment maybe being smaller than the sun would do.

The ancient and dead Studebaker had taken most of his rage. The driver’s side was crushed inwards and the rear window was broken. The engine was already outside the car but if you’d look closely you’d find that he had smashed the filter and it’s receptacle to smithereens. There was an indentation of fists in the cinderblock wall next to him.

Donna came limping from the asphalt where they were practicing.

“Come on let’s get back into this. 1,2, 1,2. Right?”

“That’s boxing. The waltz goes 1,2,3.”

‘Oh right.”

“I can’t. I’m risking you.”

Donna considered the sulking bald giant and then considered the destroyed sedan next to him. She realized that she had to use her head when dealing with Ted. So, she rammed it through the driver’s side with such conviction as to give a mosher a boner. For a moment, she was reeling and Ted stood but she motioned him off. She quickly stabilized. She picked the shards from her skull with much the same practiced motion as she had for ripping her leg hair off. Glass free, she picked up a brown paper bag and wiped away the blood. This all had the added benefit of relieving her sinuses.

“You aren’t risking shit.”

“I could break you, I know I could.”

“Yeah, but with me you’ll probably have to try.”

“But I could.”

“And I could leave, but then I’ll never get to learn the foxtrot.”

“You want to learn the foxtrot?”

Donna winced slightly as she remembered her recently broken foot.

“I still gotta learn how to waltz.”


“I liking being prepared. For zombies I’ve got a shotgun but if a cotillion breaks out, I’m screwed.”

“It is a valid worry.”

“So can we go back to dancing spunky?”

They returned to the lantern they left in the middle of the basketball court. 1.2.3. Donna really was a striking young woman, black straight hair, and slight with bounties disproportionate. 1,2,3. Then he was back to thinking about Verna. Verna was a bit taller, with freckles everywhere and red hair. Her hands were softer too. He found himself lost in emerald eyes that weren’t even there. 1,2…


“Oh god, what did I do.”

Donna looked down; her left shoulder was bleeding She found a bit of glass sticking out. She picked it off, as if lint.

“Always forget how unpredictable glass can be.”