June 7, 2012
By Garrett Callahan BRONZE, Brookline, Massachusetts
Garrett Callahan BRONZE, Brookline, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

David sat up on his bed. The white sheets crinkled as he faced his bureau. He looked at his scar, himself and said “Let’s just get through with the damn day.” He stood up out of bed and limped toward the subway tiled bathroom. A used towel hung on the hook for him while he ran a hot shower. Stepping in his body was shocked by the hot water. Taking his right hand, he moved the temperature down to mild. His head rested on the tile of the shower stall. The water dripped down his white body. Hair darkened as the water tricked through. Into his thoughts..

"It's your turn to change the record, Darlene."
"No way, do it yourself. I'm comfortable here."
"Oh, but I'm an old man."
"You just use that excuse to your advantage.
Darlene's blue eyes look over to the corner of the fire lit living room.
"Look at Max, what would you do to be little like him again? He can just think, say, and do whatever he wants. He has us to wait on his hand and foot. Gosh, I wish I had someone like that."
"I'd like to say that would be me, but I'm an old man."
"Oh, pipe down with that. You're 37."
"And only a few more years until I can actually say that. and only a couple before you can." David said kiddingly.
Darlene softly punched David on the shoulder.
"What are you reading anyway?"
"Oh, It's a book for my class. It's called Breakfeast At Tiffany's. And what is that science fiction nonsense you're reading?"
"Oh, this? The Million Cities. It's interesting. Earth is over industrialized and virtually covered with steele.. can you imagine?"
"No, sounds rather weird."
"Well, I like it." Darlene said.
"I'm going to change the record."
"Good, that took you a while. Put that new What I'd Say song on we like by Ray."
"You read my mind.. "Hey mama, dont you treat me wrong Come and love your daddy all night long All right now.." David sang
The record continued scratching.. David moved the brown coffee table out of the way and put his hand out to Darlene.
"Join me?"
Their bodies were close to each other and there was Dave with his hands on her hips. Their legs, 12 12 123 12 12 123 12 12 123. All around the living room. Max stood in his pen laughing whilst they stepped through the living room. "Tell your momma.. tell your pop.. I'm gonna send you back to Arkanas"

David clicked back. He had been in the shower for ten minutes, quickly sudsing up, and shampooing his hair. He stepped out of the shower. One foot at a time. With his towel in one hand he put his glasses on. The small picture of Darlene beamed back at him. He took out a pill bottle of pain killers and popped one in his mouth. His bad leg relaxing, David put some gel in his hair so it looked presentable. Lying out navy blue pants he took out a freshly pressed shirt picked out a matching blue tie, and navy blazer to go with his outfit. The shoe shine residue was whiped off from the night before. As the tie clip was put on, it reflected in the mirror.
David slowly stepped down the oak stairs into the kitchen and put on a cup of coffee. He put some toast on while he was at it. The clock's tick moved to 8:15. The sound of youthful screams resonated through the house and David sat, blankly staring at the floor.

Blue and red headlights bounced off the thick trees, and the sun was just rising.
"It looks like we have a family of three in this car. The car itself is destroyed from the windshield up, and it looks like a car might have hit it too. The little boy is out of his seat, and so it the wife. It appears they aren't moving, but the man is." David heard this as he was passed out in the car.
"Uhhh.." David moaned
"We have a response from the male. Where are the paramedics? Let's get them over here immidiately."
"Let's get them out of the car.. get the wife and child out.. get three stretchers."
"What happened.." David mumbled looking around in a daze.
"You're fine, sir."
"The wife and child still aren't moving!" Screamed the paramedic.
"Bring them to the hospital immidiately."
"What's going on.. what's going on?!"
"You were just in a serious car crash, you're okay."
"Where are my wife in kids?"
"They're... going to the hospital. It appears you have broken you're leg."
"I don't care about my leg, get me to the hospital to see my wife and kid for christ sake."
"One moment, sir."
David looked frustrated in the stretcher.
"Alright, let's get this man into the ambulance."
"1.. 2.. 3.. lift!"

The sharp ding of the toaster got David back. He took the butter out of the fridge. The bread waited in the toaster until he finally put it on a white plate. Taking his butter knife, the oleo came off like a peel of a banana. The butter knife and the toast made a rough scraping noise as they married. Staring at his toast briefly, he glanced at the coffee still brewing in the machine and then shot a quick look over to his mug. Not caring that the coffee was still brewing he took some coffee out and put it in. The coffee sizzled on the heater as it dropped sluggishly from the brewer. He sipped it once, twice and a third time. Max stared at him from the fridge. His lip trembled, and went to eat the buttered toast. He kept clearing his throat trying to keep back tears. As the toast became a crumb he didn’t want to concentrate on anything else. David took one more sip of coffee, rinsed out his coffee mug, and the plate. Then left it out so it could dry. He knew when he would get home that night, the plate and cup would be in the same place. He limped into the livingroom where more pictures of his family stared back him. He let out a sigh. David went outside and got into his Bel Air. The lawn mowers were heard throughout the neigborhood, and the steps of hopscotch scratched through the car windows. He closed his eyes.
"I've been looking forward to San Francisco. I've needed a break." Darlene said.
"Yeah, I am too. It should be a fun time. Rob told me it's a good 5 hour drive."
"That's fine, I'm sure Max wouldn't mind."
"We should get there at 10am if we leave here tomorrow at 5am."
"But doesn't the hotel want us to check in at 3?"
"I'm sure it isn't that big of a deal, worst comes to worst we can just drive around San Francisco until 3"
"Sounds good to me. I'm just looking forward to not doing laundry and cleaning." Darlene said with a friendly glare.
"Hahaha, just take it easy."
"Alright, read a few more chapters in your book. We have to be up early tomorrow! I'm going to bed now, so I'll probably be up earlier."
"Okay, I'll catch up in a few minutes. Love you."
"You too." Said Darlene as she walked down the hallway.

David sat up and ignited. The car warmed up for a brief 20 seconds before he pulled out of the driveway. His neighbor waved at him and he waved back. He was sure to speed up the car as he passed by her because he knew Cindy would want to start chatting.

As he drove through the neighborhood, everything was surreal. As the cars passed by he would flinch in fear every time. He looked at his scar in the mirror. As David neared the Univeristy, he Drove up to one of the parking lots, and swiftly moved into the space. His Bel Air gleamed in the sun. As his body got out of the car he took a lung full of fresh air and then let out an exhale. Slowly walking into the building trying to keep his composure, the door read, History Department.

"Good morning Arnold." Said David.
"Ah, good morning David. You look a little white. Are you okay?"
"Oh, I'm fine. I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today."
"Would you like a cup of coffee? It's complementary."
"No, I'm fine thank you. Have a good day. I have to get to class."
"Alright, you too David."

Lightly limping down the hallway he reached his office. As he dropped into his brown leather chair, he popped a few pain killers into his mouth and took a few sips of the gin he had kept in the right hand drawer. After he didn’t feel like himself as much, and could really do whatever he needed to do for the day. David put the bottle and the painkillers away, walked out of his office and into the classroom. Sitting on the wooden desk he waited for the 50 students to come in.

“It’s time to start class!" David said in an assertive voice. So I just wanted to ask one question to you all. What is fear?.. anyone?.. Yes Mr. Mills!”

“Fear is caused by the belief of something or someone that is a threat.”
"So you could say Hitler's anti semitism against the Jews was caused by fear?"
"Yes, I suppose you could. It's always the minority. When the minority poses a threat to the majority, even if it's just imagined. Fear, after all, is our real enemy. Fear is taking over our world. Fear is being used as a tool of manipulation in our society. It?s how politicians peddle policy and how Madison Avenue sells us things that we don?t need. Think about it. Fear that we?re going to be attacked, fear that there are communists lurking around every corner, fear that some little Caribbean country that doesn?t believe in our way of life poses a threat to us. Fear that black culture may take over the world. Fear of Elvis Presley?s hips. Well, maybe that is a real fear. Fear that our bad breath might ruin our friendships… Fear of growing old and being alone.” He thought to himself...

David looked at the students. Of them raised his their hand to challenge the comment. The student mumbled away and David just disposed, staring, listening to the buzz of the electric clock, harking to the smoldering cigarettes being dragged. Blinking his eyes he said
“Right, class dismissed. Read the rest of the book for Friday."
"But Sir!"
David took his brief case and left the 50 student class room.

The author's comments:
Inspired from my favorite movie: A Single Man

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