The Whites

On a long list of things which the man was hopeless at drawing, eyes would not be included.  He was really quite good at drawing eyes – eyeballs, eyelashes, pupils, etc.  But that was not important at the moment, what he had to focus on at the moment was searching for the correct lightbulb to replace the one that had blown.  “Did you know that every lightbulb is unique?” the custodian told him as he swept hundreds upon thousands of winter-white bulbs into some kind of order.  The man began picking through them, trying to find one as similar to the dead bulb as possible.  “You’ll get one pretty much exactly the same,” the custodian told him, “but,” he winked, “it won’t be.”  He carried on searching and the custodian carried on sweeping and the lightbulbs carried on tinkling under his broom.

After a while the man stopped for a rest and made his way to the back of the establishment where the custodian would sometimes go to smoke and watch the canal, though on this ocassion he just carried on sweeping the bulbs into order.  The man stood at the edge of the canal and watched the old longboats in the water, the first one tied to the waters edge and the others all connected together after that.  In each longboat were laid to rest pretty vespa crash victims, still with their helmets on their heads, visors up so that their eyes were gazing skywards.  All of the helmets were painted green, white and red,.  All of the eyes were rollback large and empty.  All of their lashes were thick and long and black.

The custodian came out for a cigarette and the man hurried back inside to continue his long and arduous lightbulb search.


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