The Handyman

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He liked to believe that if he held his hand out high enough, he could cup the moon beneath his fingertips. As he sat upon his perch at night, he would close his eyes, breathe in deeply, and think. Thinking, he thought, was an art. And he practiced it. He thought about the stars and the sea. He thought about waves lapping against rocks, and the gentle sigh of a sleeping child. And even though he went to sleep each night thinking of his deceased family, he believed it truly was a wonderful world. It was the people within it who simply were not.
Bill had been a handyman. Never content, yet never empty. A simple man with simple thoughts, Bill walked to work some days, and biked on others. He had first seen Loraine on a Friday night, well past ten. They were married before he could bat an eye. She was happy, and his children were happy, and for a while he thought he was as well.
But money seemed to come and go, and there was nothing in return for its absence. Loraine’s eyes shined some days, but never when Bill was around. And though that was the past, it seemed he was living the future, and the past was the present. For how could this be the past, if it wasn’t the beginning?
Thick rain had pattered against the hard cover of his black shoe. Each drop landed, forming a wet circle on the slippery pavement. A dark figure in a dark night trudged and heaved slowly, as the rain pulled him down, and pulled his clothes down, and slapped his face with icy, needle-like movements. His dark eyes looked lost in the night, and perhaps it was because he was lost. He was lost, and confused, and scared, and yet he put his key into the lock as he reached apartment building 315. Littered with knowledge and fear, he had stepped into his apartment quietly. Yet as he entered, he paused. Bill was aware of what he was doing, and where he was going. Yet as he had walked through the dark streets, not a single thought had entered his mind. He had simply basked in knowledge. And as he looked around, he felt more lost than ever, for he did not know what to do.
First, he put down his umbrella. Neatly. As a man believing in cause-and-effect, and consequences to your actions, he quickly realized that he might have to feign surprise as he walked in. And what would he do? Pushing anxious thoughts away, he had shaken his head, and squeezed his eyes together tightly. Then he slowly and quietly walked to his door. But now it was a door. It was simply a door, and yet this door was everything. This door opening would change everything he knew. And suddenly it seemed too much of a burden for the door, and for him as the man opening the door. And should he open the door, knowing that it was the only thing standing between him and his future? He had never transitioned so quickly from present to future, and he shook at the thought of what the transition could do to him. Because Bill knew himself, and he knew Loraine, and in the long run, Bill simply knew.
But perhaps he didn’t know what would happen as he opened the door. For although he had thoroughly considered what was to happen, and had pictured the scene a thousand times in his head, he had pictured it, yet never truly felt it. Not until now.





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