Friday, December 20, 1985

Perry's Wall

a short story written during my freshman year in college

His glassy eyes stared at the electrical socket on the closest, otherwise blank wall. He rocked slowly and chomped rhythmically at this gum, occasionally blowing a bubble. His mind was void of any thought and he was psychologically blind to any stimulus not immediately in his path.

His trance was abruptly interrupted by a long, slow buzz that filled his head, rattling his eardrums. At first he just continued rocking and chomping, but the buzz continued until it snapped him into reality. He eased out of his chair and sauntered to the door. He grasped the doorknob and stood silently for a moment. With his free hand he stroked his mouth and chin as if to pull the solemn look from his face. He forced a smile and tugged the door open.

“Cliff! How’s it going? What are you doing back in Philly?”

“Perry! Things are wonderful – I’m back for a week visiting Mom and Dad and I decided to look you up. I just got a promotion!”

Small talk turned to burning the midnight oil. At the evening’s close, Perry waved goodbye, watching as Cliff drove out of sight. The smile escaped Perry’s face, he wandered back inside, and he resumed his place in the rocking chair, staring blindly at the electrical socket once again.