He looked around the house. Saw a tear in the leather couch. A rip in the easy chair. Pots and pans piled up in the sink. All the clocks were off by ten, maybe fifteen minutes. And, it was dark. A dim light bulb swung from the ceiling. Mice ran across the kitchen floor.
Some day, he said. Some day this will all be gone, the old man opened the refrigerator, grabbed a beer. There was spoiled lettuce and rotted fruit in the bottom drawer. An opened box of baking soda sat in the back of the ice box. Nothing will exist anymore, he tapped the top of the beer can before opening it. Everything we take for granted, he smiled, Will be gone, he took a gander at his son standing in front of the television, adjusting the antennae. You hear me? It’ll all be gone. Everything we worked for. Gone, the old man moved his hands as if he was performing magic.
Which way is north? the boy asked. Or, is it east? he shook his head. Somewhere out there is a TV station with a big dish sending out signals. Awe hell, he said. Why do I even try? the old man handed him a beer. They both sat quietly, watching blurred lines go across the screen.
That thing never worked, said the old man. It’s always been on the fritz, he stared up at the dangling light bulb. The old man grabbed a broom standing against the wall and began toying with the bulb; hitting the cord it was attached to. Making the light swing wildly. It’s all going to be gone. And that’ll be that, he continued swinging at the cord.
Be careful with that pop, the boy said. It’s the only light we have. You bust it and it’ll be dark in here till morning, he told him. And, what do you mean it’ll all be gone? Maybe you want it to end. Put you out of your misery. Is that what you want? the old man now was trying to hit the bulb. He kept missing it as it swung back and forth like a clock.
I’m telling the truth, the old man said. Soon it’ll all be gone, contact was made with the light bulb. A thousand pieces went everywhere. It was nearly pitch black.Colored lines ran across the television. They sat in silence.