cold mountain (52)

They act like drunks all day

Dirty carpets and bitter coffee. Stains that won’t come out, so he gave up trying. The smear of rust on the porch door like a upward-blazing comet with the nail, once new, at its core. Church ladies come to that door, see the rusty comets climbing its wooden frame, offer to bring him a casserole. He won’t have it, don’t need it. They think he’s a drunk, but he’s worse: apathetic. He sobered up one day and saw it was all the same, whether the fence got mended or stayed busted, whether all the dishes got done at once or just the one he needed next. He eats, yeah; does the laundry, but with the disinterest of a long view. Some see the torn belt-loop or missing button. He sees the rags moldering in the dump, the colors faded to a singular gray. In the face of that, what does any of it matter to get fussed about? He heard their talk of grace, saw their shining eyes. Figured what grace he needed wouldn’t require starch. Wouldn’t require anything at all.

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