The Stockbroker – 9

He walked the trail under the light of the towers and came out onto Niles Road and then walked over to Upson Street. He stood on the curb and had a bump and looked up at the streetlight, at the whirling ball of insects. A new swarm of mayflies approached the light and the swarm disappeared into the larger black and speckled vortex of vermin as if it was duty bound to. Righting his head he spat a white glob onto the asphalt. His mouth tasted like chemicals.

Much as he was resisting stood there beneath the streetlight, his shadow a diminished silhouette was yet cast in concise motions as he had begun to make taut his neck and he was making it taut now again and continued on in epigrammatic contortions and at the very time that he appeared to have let it slack he would begin anew for if there was a way not to he wasn’t privy of it. There were a few idling cars. A figure every once and a while came from a house and to a car and back to the house. Nobody paid him any mind. Reaching for his neck he took to rubbing it and he took to try holding it steady. He lowered his hands and cursed something under his breath and taut his neck another time to where his head turned up at the light once more and he held it there fixed like it was frozen, fossilized such as it was a quest to understand his origins, embrittling his bones as if they were outlaid in his purview, and he held it that way a long time, finally slacking it and slacking it further until it was at its true again. He sounded off into the night guttural and shrill sounds that carried off down the street but still no one turned. A few figures in shorts and flip-flops sat on a porch. They watched the cars and scratched in notepads and played cards. One of them called out to a car pulled up and it drove off. Supposing he was what some would call a lost cause he was let to stand there, one of the poker players watching him now. The bulge of a handgun beneath the cardcloth. What fool is that over there, Jimmy, he said. Morris remained there a while longer and into the silence of a great wind that was blowing over from the hill country he cried out. Misshapen were his words. Misshapen was his body. Possessed by the urges thought to be ungodly and premonitory. A blinker who cannot blink. For how could He attend to such a deviation, a contrariety. Stilling himself a last time he spat on his hand and smoothed down his hair.

It’s young Morris I’d say.

Morris, is that you, he called.

He nodded. He looked out onto the street, in all the wonder which was showed to him, in all the terror he collected himself and managed a slight grin. Then he stepped from the curb and began on over to the house.