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Binoculars


by Foster Trecost


He had choices and he chose to call the cops. When they walked in, I said he's the one they should arrest. Then I told them to arrest the shrink. Nobody got arrested, but they gave me a warning: Don't throw binoculars at people.

And they weren't pocket-sized binoculars, nothing like the ones used for backyard birdwatching. These were military-grade. They looked better suited for the battlefield and struck him just above the right eye, gashed him good. A scar-leaving gash. There was blood.

 Before that he'd drug me to a hypnotist. I didn't throw anything, but when we went to an intimacy clinic, I threw slurs and slights one after the other, but nothing that wasn't true. I think they hurt worse than the binoculars. If he was going to call the cops, that's when he should've done it. Instead we went to a shrink who put a weapon in my hands.

And I used it.

I said it wasn't working, that I couldn't see anything, and he said it's because I was looking at the wall. The shrink went to the University of Michigan. He was certified in just about everything. Framed certificates told the story.

But I get it, I was supposed to look at him. The binoculars would make me feel close, but from a safe distance. So I looked at him. Then I looked for him. All I found was someone who needed to pluck his eyebrows. Then I saw something else:

A woman crouched in a corner, tears smeared across both cheeks. A hand offered itself. She hesitated but took it and was helped to her feet. Seconds later the same hand struck again, and she fell back to the floor.

That's what I saw.

When the binoculars left my hand, I knew they were on a good path. He just sat there with an incredulous look, like there's no way I'd flung a pair of military-grade binoculars at his head. Maybe he felt he deserved it, but I don't think so. If he had, he never would've called the cops.

Either way, I'm gone. But the scars, neither his nor mine, they haven't gone anywhere.



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