Storella: "Bread Alone" | By: Jerry Vilhotti | | Category: Short Story - Dark Bookmark and Share

Storella: "Bread Alone"

type story hereThe first night I slept in my brother's apartment which was perched on the twenty-second floor of a building that looked across to the beautiful New York City skyline - due to my mother's plea I do so since she strongly suspected Tom was going out of his mind - and so I lay on the couch with one eye opened, which had me lose much sleep I really needed to do my job as a teacher in a junior high school situated between Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg; an assignment I asked for wanting to fulfill a promise to myself to pay back a city that gave me a chance to graduate from a college that gave the world a man who had helped cure polio with the vaccine he created and after serving my four years, my wife, our one year old son who would be joined by two yet unborn sisters, and I would go away to a simpler place in time somewhere in the Litchfield Hills. Tom had polio; infected when he was six months old and later I would sincerely believe the disease had spread all the way up to his mind; remembering as an eleven year old seeing an eighteen year old Tom's gigantic tic that his mouth twirling toward his shoulder in a fitful pseudo bite. The reason for the opened eye? Tom after slamming his bedroom door three times, and I would eventually notice Tom would do things in threes like: take three baths a day, cover three places in the small kitchen with thousands of pennies .... Tom would do his all night walking in the semi-dark apartment with a butcher knife in hand; speaking in loud whispers to, I surmised, Poe's demons that if he found that little bastard old born baby who had come into his family stealing his father's and mother's love from him after he had more than earned it with his leg encompassed inside a brace - he would, he promised the ceiling, butcher it into many chunks of pieces. I'm somewhat bright and after thinking on all this for a few hours, I realized that I was that "little bastard"! I was the old born baby!
"Johnny! Johnny did you see the baby?"
"No Tom. He melted away in a pile of cold snow!" I joked always finding a laugh in Tom's great sense of humor.
"Will he come back, Johnny?"
"Only in your funny dreams," I said while hearing his bedroom door get slammed shut three times for the fifth time.
Christ, it was only March and I still had to go till the end of June, I thought trying hard to go to sleep in one eye but within five weeks my sleepless nights would be over when I asked Tom why wasn't he buying meats, vegetables and fruit with my half of the rent money; seeing for days the freezer filled only with bread.
"Man lives by bread alone! You get out of here. I don't need a spy around me! Get out!"
I did go; sleeping two nights in my Mustang convertible by my school until our mother heard about this and asked her sister-in-law in The Bronx to take me in and reluctantly I did go live in her cellar and heard over the little radio that received only two stations the tragic killings of King and Kennedy.
Tom went off to someplace in Middletown New York and while on his search to find Christ - giving all his pennies to the overwhelmed bus driver - was taken to a relaxorium that would attempt to get all the pieces of his brain back together again into some semblance of a sanity.
I try to eat bread with all my meals ....
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