After M. Night Shyamalan
Mr. Glass wants to be frosted.
Today’s his birthday.
He remembers his mother giving him his first comic book when he was a kid, recovering from a broken arm, how happy he was.
Today, he thinks about how he’s never had sex.
He wants to be frosted, like a cake.
Mr. Glass wants to jump naked out of his own cake.
He wants to jump naked out of himself.
* * *
Mr. Glass has a recurring nightmare about being a clerk in a convenient store.
A man wearing a ski mask like an empty bowling ball with three holes in it—eyes for middle and ring fingers, mouth for a hitchhiker’s thumb—walks in, pulls a pistol from his crotch, shoots Mr. Glass in the chest.
His chest shatters around the bullet hole, leaving only the mirror image of a spider web.
He thinks of his heart as a giant, bulbous insect caught in the web of his chest—he’s been half-arachnid since learning to crawl.
Mr. Glass wants to crawl inside himself.
Instead, he sticks his finger into the hole in his chest, tickles the giant insect.
* * *
Mr. Glass takes a shower.
The prison guards wipe him clean with squeegees.
He thinks about bribing one of them to pave him with reflective glass, one-sided, so he’d never have to look like Mr. Glass again.
Everyone would look at him and see themselves.
He could hide leaning up against a wall.
People passing him in the hall would think, Was that mirror always there?
If they don’t like what they see, they could smash him to bits.
One of the prison guards could sweep his shards up and glue them all to a water balloon, hang the water balloon on a string from the ceiling rafters in the mess hall, like a moon.
The prison guard could break out the searchlight, shine it on Mr. Glass, and Mr. Glass could twirl and twirl, shiny little squares revolving around the walls, flickering like confetti floating in a glass of water on a coffee table, moonlight pouring through the window.
* * *
Mr. Glass wants to be wound up in reams of pink fiberglass and stuffed behind walls.
He wants to keep people warm during the winter.
He wants to be whirled up into a cotton candy cone like a tornado and handed to a small child who would love and eat him.
He would insulate the child.
Sometimes he wants to be the insides of a stuffed animal, and, as the stuffed animal ages, he wants to come out slowly, seep out like a solid, fuzzy gas wherever a tear would unzip itself and to the light expose Mr. Glass, a gleaming breath of fresh air for a clump of fiberglass stuffing.
The child would eat Mr. Glass, pulling him out of the stuffed animal, thinking he’s cotton candy.
Mr. Glass wouldn’t make the child’s insides itch.
* * *
Mr. Glass wants to go to the beach.
He wants to be the beach.
He wants people who don’t like what they look like in him to smash him to bits and sprinkle him along the shore of an ocean he’s never been to.
As a child Mr. Glass was always afraid of the beach because it was so big, so immense and massive, the way it curved around on itself toward the horizon’s closed eyelid.
Now he’s afraid of it because he doesn’t want to melt slowly like all windows, the slowest waterfalls, dripping down himself like an icicle and puddling in the sand to evaporate slightly, drying in the sun, crystallizing.
Mr. Glass wants a tourist to scoop some of him up, sprinkle the sand he’s become like ashes into a small vial and carry it home with him as evidence that he was there, the tourist, he saw where Mr. Glass was born, even if he didn’t know it.
Back at the hotel, the tourist stares out his window at the beach and puts his hand on the window, touching something he can’t see.
Eric Beeny is the author of Snowing Fireflies (forthcoming from Folded Word Press, 2010), Of Creatures (forthcoming from Gold Wake Press, 2011) and The Dying Bloom (Pangur Ban Party, 2009). His work has appeared in The Adirondack Review, LITnIMAGE, Matchbook, PANK, Pear Noir! and others. His blog is Dead End on Progressive Ave.