Shantih Journal 2.1 - Page 82

Denny turned, and Adam saw weariness in his eyes, as if he could no longer handle the burden of his father’s fear or his love. Adam could barely hear above the thunking beat at his temples. The only thing he knew was that he didn’t want to feel this way any longer, as if his body were sewn inside-out, all his major organs ready to be plucked and prodded at will. Denny moved to shut his bedroom door and Adam grabbed hold of the knob. He wasn’t sure what happened next, only remembered the sound of his son’s right ring finger caught in the door jamb and then how good it felt, despite Denny’s shuddering cries, when after so very long his son finally let him hold him. Some time had passed since he’d spoken to Matt. He wasn’t sure how much, just that it seemed like not a lot at all. Adam parked his car by that abandoned house in Philadelphia, and thought about the feeling when Denny finally let himself go in his arms. He fished his cellphone out of his coat pocket and dialed, then left a message for Hannah. She wouldn’t answer, she had stopped answering. He could not remember the last time he heard her voice. Outside, the air had grown cool. He looked in the rear view mirror. Wrinkles outlined his eyes. His nose felt wide and too large for his face. There was something about a nose that had been so very important to him in the past. Black dark. “Hey Denny,” he had said once, flipping through a National Geographic article on polar bears while in the orthodontist waiting room. His son was eleven and getting braces, against his vehement wishes. “Look.” He’d pointed to a picture of the white mammoth animal. “Their noses are crazy. They can smell their prey from a mile away. Cool, huh?” Outside, it was snowing. The house looked like it was rotting away quickly. Wooden boards hung from the windows as if whoever had begun to fix them there grew tired and left midway through the job. Next to the house was an empty lot, full of overgrown weeds and gravel. He locked his car, hoped no one would steal it, and headed towards the house. His feet crunched bits of glass that littered the doorstep, and he ground them to dust. His back ached. He’d been sitting in the car for a 82