When I threw the brick at the back of his head, I wasn’t really thinking of the result. We were walking along the canal on a misty Sunday morning, and there it was, a lone brick lying in the mud. My hands kinda just gravitated towards it, and as quickly as I held it, it was gone, hurled towards his curly twirly hair. There was a thud, and then there was the fall. I knelt by his body and watched the blood flow out from his bald patch, stroking the brick as I did.
I didn’t bother asking if he was okay, there didn’t seem to be much point.
I spent some time that day by the river, trying to spot fish underwater amongst all the litter, and improved my stone skipping game, one pebble at a time. I kept his body under a bin bag I’d found pierced by a tree, for cover, and to keep the sight of his popped out left eyeball hanging from its visible optic nerve glaring at me. I used to like it when he looked at me with his bright blue eyes, but that was a long time ago. Even before the brick entered into the story. The brick which was now tied to his feet with a pair of shoe laces he wouldn’t be tripping over anymore.
But as I went to throw him into the deep, the bin bag arose from the ground, his body with it.
‘Hello?’ Was what the corpse said to me.
‘Hi,’ is all I could muster up as a response.
The corpse rocked back and forth, shaking the bin bag back onto the floor. The popped eye swung as he rocked, swinging through the air until the optic nerve finally let up. The corpse didn’t seem to mind this, not even reaching out to find the eyeball I quickly pocketed, for interests sake. But one thing the corpse did seem to mind was silence, and so it continued to talk.
My head kinda hurts, does it look alright?
Do I have mud in my eyes, I can’t quite see you there.
Not sure what happened, maybe I’m anaemic?
Should we get this checked out?
Are you okay?
Are we okay?
Am I okay?
Question after question the corpse asked me, and all I could say, as I sat by his side, was simply
And with a kick, and a shove, off the corpse went into the river on that misty Sunday morning. His breast stroke wasn’t on point, and his kick had no power, the brick tied around his feet saw to that. Finally with his one good eye he was looking at me, I mean, really looking at me, more than he’d ever looked at me in years. He looked at me with an intensity he saved for others. And with a gulp and a swallow, he saw me no more.
For of course I know, that no corpse can show sorrow.