Vacuum

In the inexplicable, there is most definitely what is explicit. We are in no other way situated. To this undeniable truth, Saul G. woke up every morning, and according to this truth, followed through with the routine that had dictated the waning energies of his life for the last few years.

At the ripe age of 60, Saul had set down his foundation in a small suburb on the outskirts of a city whose shadow barely caressed the quiet neighborhood. He and his late wife had built a warm home and raised a child, who, exhausted by the dormitory lifestyle, and alienated by the suburban penitentiary, escaped to some far off corner of the world.
For Saul, this was somewhat disquieting, but he anticipated her move shortly after the child had reached the age of 15 and began hinting at a latent desire for egress. She would slip out her small window shortly after bedtime, frolic with her peers, and then return home, where Saul would be sitting up, silently awaiting the sounds of her clumsy entrance. When at home, she spent time reading of distant places, cultures, and ideas. By her eighteenth birthday, she had gathered all that she needed to free herself; she applied for college, went abroad, and traveled the country, laying the foundations for a life beyond the bourgeois ethos into which she had been raised.

By the time she had departed, Saul had become resigned to the inevitable, allowing his child to slip away from the prison of suburban monotony, and set to establishing a scaffold for his own monotonous life. Shortly after his daughter left home, Saul’s wife died. He was left to tend his garden and quickly fell into a religious, practically dogmatic routine.

One spring morning, in the low light of dawn, he resumed his routine without a second thought. He shot from his bed at 7 am, a launch from the warmth of his lonesome king-sized bed punctuated by his perfectly rehearsed struggle with the snooze button. He walked through the house with a level of grace typically reserved for ballet dancers. However, when he reached the threshold of his front door, Saul stubbed his toe…
The peaceful flow of the morning shattered around him. The pain in his foot reverberated through his body like the bullet of a .22, ripping through his muscles, tearing up his intestines, and rattling around within the hollow of his skull. Saul took a deep breath and attempted to shake off the sensation that had so rudely violated the tranquility and fullness of his morning.

Walking out of his front door, his ass showing through the holes in his old grey boxers, Saul donned his classic early morning wardrobe as best he could. The neighbors had gotten used to the constellation of holes in his boxers, his languid stroll, and the soft bend in his back as he reached down to fetch the paper. These silent observers had developed a fondness akin to something that ancients had once felt for the night sky. The residents in their living rooms and bedrooms, looking out from dark windows, would quietly remark on how these holes resembled Orion’s Belt, or Cassiopeia, or how his regular procession was matched only by the sun, the moon, and the paperboy. On that peculiar morning, by all appearances, Saul advanced as if all was as it should be, had been, and would be.
Internally frail, however, Saul was holding himself firm against the shock of the incident with the doorframe. He shuffled, in order to avoid limping, towards the morning paper. Inexplicably, Saul’s eyes were drawn to what he perceived as a hole in his lawn, an insignificant fissure in the immaculate yard that he had maintained for over twenty years. Quietly, attempting to retain his decorum, and acting with utter nonchalance, he pushed a small amount of dirt into the hole, patted it down, and fetched his paper before returning to his regularly scheduled life.

Frank and Greg had moved in across from Saul several years prior to this fateful morning…

Read “Vacuum” in SN3: Bastille Day.

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