#115 Fragmentation

by Loren Eaton

There were three of us in the room. I was almost certain of that.

The room itself was well-appointed. Crown molding. Thick pile underfoot. An accent wall and matching duvet. But the obese, sweat-filmed bachelor sprawled on the mattress didn’t match the neat space.

The Man with the Knife had noted it.

“You are fragmented, friend,” he said, punctuating each syllable with a twitch of the blade. “Have you ever seen stained glass? Some find it lovely, those tarnished fragments all jumbled together.”

“I have money,” the bachelor blurted. “Here, take it.”

“Yeah, he’s completely clueless,” I said.

The Man with the Knife pursed his lips. “Let us dispense with metaphor, friend. Can you not see the disassociation between your context and self?”

“Whatever you want, I’ll do it.”

“Sure, uh huh, that’s what everyone always tells us,” I said.

“Yes, that is the regular refrain,” the Man murmured.

A shadow of deeper unease flicked across the bachelor’s face.

“What we want, friend, is for you to focus,” the Man continued. “Become a unified whole.”

The bachelor’s head bobbed as if on a spring. “Sure. I can do that.”

“Sounds sincere,” I said. “Whaddya think?”

“That is easy enough to determine.”

The bachelor’s eyes widened. “Who . . . who are you talking to?”

“Oh, yeah? The usual method?” I asked.

The Man with the Knife stepped forward. “Nothing focuses like pain.”

For a while, there were three of us in the room. Then, abruptly, two.

I am almost certain of that.


Unknown said...

Wow. Seriously, this is stunning. One of my favorites thus far.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Loren, I do miss you. This is excellent.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Well done. The picture you are painting is very clear.

Loren Eaton said...

Thanks for the kudos, guys!

Aerin, where ya been?

Anonymous said...

Loren - eh, I decided to do a second master's degree, switch careers, get a new job. Nothing much. :) Hugs to the little one, who, what, must be 17 by now....

Catherine Vibert said...