Wednesday, April 06, 2005



Part of my face is missing.

I’m working late in the office, and I stop typing long enough to rub my bleary eyes behind my glasses. Something falls to my desk. Audibly. There is a crunch. I scour my desk for signs of the missing piece, but find nothing.

I bolt into the bathroom to look in the mirror. Nothing appears to be gone. I take off my glasses and pull my eyelids back. The capillaries are maybe a little redder in my eyes than they should be, but nothing otherwise appears to be amiss. Maybe it’s from another part of my face.

I stick out my tongue, look at my teeth. Everything checks out. I put my face an inch from the glass, and turn slowly from profile to profile. Nothing.

I return to my desk and continue working, but my mind isn’t on the figures on my computer screen anymore.

Part of my face is missing.

I try to forget about it. I have a plan. I’ll go home and go to sleep and by morning, I’ll have forgotten all about it. I’ll go to the grocery store to get cat food and milk and people will avert their gazes at the horror of my face. Except for children. They’ll gawk at me, and I’ll rush over to one, as his eyes go wide, and ask him, “What? What’s missing? You have to tell me.” And his mother will rush him out of the store, afraid I might be contagious, but if I’m lucky, maybe, before he is whisked away, he’ll tell me what that thing was that fell on my desk in the middle of a graveyard shift.


At 11:45 AM, Blogger Sharon Hurlbut said...

Dave, this is so good - funny and strange and totally real in an unreal way. I hope you're considering sending it someplace
(like Café Irreal maybe) so more people can enjoy it.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Dave Clapper said...

Thanks, Sharon!

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Matt Getty said...

I dig this. Especially the way it ends with children holding the answer to the story's mystery. It's a nice way to capture--without directly pointing at--the wonder of that double edged honesty kids have.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger bevjackson said...

Love this, Dave!

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Dave Clapper said...

Thanks, Matt and Bev. I took Sharon's advice and sent it off to Cafe Irreal. We'll see if they like it. :)

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