Signs and Senses By Susan Gibb

July 4, 2011 Comments Off on Signs and Senses By Susan Gibb

He is blind so sometimes he wears a hearing aid. He is deaf so he walks with a white cane. Sometimes he is so in tune with the rhythm that comes out of the ground that he leaves them both at home.

He can pick donuts by scent. He knows his cigars by the same. Nobody need help him or cheat him or notice he’s different at all. On his glasses he’s painted new eyes except blue because that’s what he remembers she liked. On his ears he’s placed buffalo horns. On his feet he wears Reeboks and if he can’t find them he may just settle for some other brand.

People living next to him behind cardboard-thin walls have sometimes complained of the noise. They knock on his door. He asks them to describe what it sounds like. “The knock or the music?” they ask.

He used to work as an architect. Designed bridges and buildings that cut into the sky. Lines, he loved lines. Though curves had their place in his mind.

One morning he woke up and decided it would be the last day of his life. He dressed in his best casual Dockers and a pleasant plaid short-sleeved shirt. He put on his glasses, took his white cane, and drove out of town to the seashore close by.

He pulled breadcrumbs out of his pocket to feed to the seagulls. In the other pocket were worms for the fish. Then he sat on a rock with his toes in the edge of the ocean.

He let the waves carry his cane out with its tide where a horseshoe crab hopped on and rode it away. His glasses he tossed way out to the horizon where a dolphin caught them and squeaked in glee. He waited. He listened to the rhythm of life, felt the rotation of earth in his feet.

Then he saw the Mexican sleigh bells ring and tapped his fingers to the beat. For a long time he listened and then, as the sun splashed into the ocean, he followed the seagulls home.

© 2011 Susan Gibb

Susan Gibb, recently both recipient of the 8th Glass Woman Prize and a Pushcart nomination, writes one blog on literature analysis and another on hypermedia writing and reading. Her poetry, fiction, and digital art have been published in many fine zines. Her work is included in the “Valentine Day Massacre” chapbook (Cervana Barva Press). She wrote 100 hypertext stories in Summer, 2009, 100 flash fictions in Summer, 2010 and in 2011 she’s teamed up with an artist and writes one flash piece each day.

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