His eyebrows pressed together and up, as if they were hands clasped in prayer. The rest of his face gave the impression he was moving his bowels.

I introduced myself and the middle finger in my breast pocket, whose name was Dick. Dick had a habit of plunging into people’s mouths and fingering around in there like a dentist. Sometimes I just kept my breast pocket buttoned shut.

It wasn’t that Dick was performing an examination, though he couldn’t fail to notice various forms of disease and decay; it was more that he felt lost and alone and a little bit clumsy until he’d fingered authoritatively around someone’s mouth. After that, he could be the life of the party, even putting dollhouse lampshades on his head and strutting around like the Queen of England.

The man’s eyebrows withdrew at once from pointing skyward and formed two tremendous arches over his wide eyes, enticing tunnels for my probing friend. Where such tunnels would lead I have no idea; though the poets among us say they lead to the soul, I only see them leading to someone’s eye getting poked out. The other muscles in the man’s face continued to intimate the existence of a dark stalk of matter in him that desperately wanted out.

So now Dick was running around, and I was the one, as so often happens, who felt lost and alone and a little bit clumsy.

About the author:

Daniel Grandbois is the author of the Believer Book Award Reader Survey Selection and Indie Next Notable Book Unlucky Lucky Days and the art novel The Hermaphrodite: An Hallucinated Memoir. His work appears in many journals and anthologies, including Conjunctions, Boulevard, Mississippi Review, and Fiction. Also a musician, Daniel plays in three of the pioneering bands of “The Denver Sound”: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Tarantella, and Munly.

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