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  "Intermission -
On My Road"
Dean Pajevic
  Dean Pajevic

Mags + Literary Series
Intermission - On My Road

January-February, 2008

It was late Thursday night, maybe Friday morning. The hanging bag dripped a sugar solution down a thin white plastic hose into his father's arm. The skin was splotchy and thin like over-stretched dough.

The son slouched in a padded green chair next to the bed. Out past the window, snow swirled around a sodium streetlight. Flakes caught the light like a noose of dandruff, then tightened, then disappeared. Then again.

The son was awake, electric from the half-finished cup of thin, scalding coffee in a chewn styrofoam cup. He picked his cuticles, working on a little strip of skin until it stood up like paper. Then he bit it off, toying it with his teeth, then spitting it to the floor.

He stared at his father. The old man's breath hardly stirred his stark-rib chest. He put his thumb against his teeth and bit down.

A thin stream of greenish light came under the crack in the door. A yellow bruise dripped through the window. They met on the marble floor in a glowing smear. It reminded him of the liquid remains on an autopsy table.

He bit down hard and winced. Blood. He felt the piece of flesh grind between his teeth. He worked it around from front to back. He spit it out and reached for the coffee.

The wind moaned long and low. He sipped. He sipped again. The snow fell harder.

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