He leaned against the warped oaken desk that had only three legs, and he only one. One and a splintering cane.
On his rayon cuffs, the golden sheen of plaything cufflinks convinced the eyes of something noble, but not at all: over-starched, the sleeve fell into an oversized shoulder, padded with ’80s nonsense, and from there argued with some cardboard collar from the back shelves of Ross. It was stained with body oil and make-up, like some cheap trick of the stage. But would not bend or bow when heads were turned.
He grinned at me through coffeed teeth, that erstwhile something of a man, through the palpable reek of ashen cigarettes. And once, at a funeral, a cigar. His bulbous nose swelled inside the room, nearly blotting out his cataract eyes. There was no hair upon his head, not a virtue to humbly hide.
And he was 55 that Sunday. Before the God who loves us all somehow pulled the trigger, out of misery and necessity. He ended that charade, and I clapped my 12-year-old hands together.
Today, I have skin as black as ink. It suits me. As I hobble down the streets, limping; as my jacket chafes my supple neck; as my squinting eyes look on toward home.