OUT IN THE OPEN

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OUT IN THE OPEN

Just like that, out in the open he cleared out his throat and spit all over the place. Then he blew out his nose, one nostril at a time, i gaged, having a hard time not to puke. What is your problem he said to me . . .YOU i said, now i want to puke all over you. What did i do he then said . . .Frig you, you dirty dog . . .Have you no manners? Well i had to do something, he said. I’m sick! [Sick !], i said. . .Were you sick when you left your house this morning? Well of course i was, what kind of stupid question is that . . .And you didn’t think to grab kleenex or toilet-paper or carry a hanky or anything.

He became annoyed at me and got all huffy.  What. You think you are better than me?What would you do if you were sick like this. “I would stay home in bed until i felt better, then i would walk around with kleenex in my pocket, not blow snot all over the place in front of people, and spit.

Are you still here he said.  The light turned green allowing us to cross over the street. Not for long i gagged out. I think i gagged for the next hour or so-the memory had fix it’s self in my brain.

The next day i took a different route to school,  hoping not to run into the same guy. Low and behold . . .Right there,  out in the open,  there he stood, blowing his nose out one nostril at a time. I let out a [well for Pete's sakes]. He looked up and a roar of laughter flew from him. What in the world are you doing . . .Making the whole city sick?  No . . .No, he said. I honestly thought if i came this way we would not cross paths. My stomach came to my throat and i did everything i could not to vomit. I waited for a bit to ask why he leaves the house without something to spew into . . .Home?  I do not have a home, i live here,  out in the open. I have no home.  How can you not have a home i asked, did you run away?

As it turned out,  this boy did not run away and he did not have a home. His parents were killed in a car accident two years ago.

As it turned out . . .They were leaving a late night family get together. His mother fell a sleep in the front seat as the dad drove. Turned out the dad had a bad cold and was reaching for the kleenex box when he drove off the road and down into a ravine smashing into a tree, where his wife was thrown,  through the front window and he went over the steering wheel. But the boy was wearing his seat belt and hit his head enough times, but did not die. 

Because he was of age,  there was no need to place him anywhere. He was released from the hospital with a prescription for pain medication. The parents died without a written will and the boy got nothing. And refuses to blow his nose with any tissue for the time being, and does everything right here out in the open.

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