The apartment is filled with glass and all I see are distortions of everything. The half-gallon handles of Hennessy, the various fifths of Jack Daniel’s, the countless bottles of forty-ounce Miller High Life, fill the apartment and all of it vies for the looker’s attention. This collection of glass, however, is not growing. For my father can no longer sustain his drinking. Now, he stares blankly and drools most the time, unable to comprehend anything. This means that I can tell him anything I think of. I tell him that his wife, my mother, will return at any moment. She killed herself before I ever formed any true memories of her. This, I am sure, he does not remember. He stares and drools.
Most days, I come home to the hospice nurse talking to father in that dreary way of hers. She typically asks him questions to no avail and acts as if he responds. She asks me why I keep the bottles and I always tell her because they are glass, that is why. The truth is that I feel that the glass will tell me something, that if I look hard enough into them, into their translucency, their distortions, they will reveal something to me, something worth knowing. I come home one day to the hospice nurse breathing heavily. I asked her if she was all right. She admitted that she slapped my father hoping for a response. She apologized profusely about it all. Me, I do not care. I do not blame her.
I am sitting here next to father watching him breathe. I turn around and look at one of the bottles. Through it, I see father stand out of the wheelchair and reach for me, attempting to choke me, I turn around and punch him to the ground. He does not respond. I stand him back up and fix him in the wheelchair. I wheel him outside. We watch the sunset together and look at the clouds. I tell him that mother is in one of those clouds waiting for him. This, I know is a lie.
His left eye is almost swollen shut. We both watch, seeing the world unfold in completely different ways, waiting for completely different things.
Christopher Bui is an English student studying literature at Augusta University. He wishes to continue his education through a PhD program. When he is not reading or writing, he frequents anywhere that has chess boards and coffee.