I am tired of giving things to dead people


When I leave the grocery store there is a tall man standing by my car. He is stooping over with his left hand pressed against the driver’s side door and the tip of his nose smearing my glass. He is trying to fit a key into my door. I walk up next to him and watch him try each of the three keys on his key ring. A small plastic baseball the size of quarter machine gum clicks against my door. “Excuse me,” I say. There are fresh white fissures in the black paint around the keyhole. “Sir?” He looks at me and he is older than I thought. One of his eyebrow hairs has come lose and dangles like it might fall into his eye. I shift the milk jug in my hand. The plastic ridge on the inside of the handle is cutting into my fingers. “Let me try your keys,” the man says to me. He reaches for the car keys peering out the top of my purse and pulls them up by Mickey Mouse’s right ear. My dad bought me that key chain ten years ago. Mickey Mouse no longer has eyes. The man fits my key into my door. He makes a rattling noise in his throat like he is trying to cough and sends spit dots across my window. His breath smells like formaldehyde. I try to hit him across the nose with the milk jug but instead hit him in the back of the head because he is not a gentleman and will not face me. The plastic breaks and milk rivers down his back and into my car. He closes the door. I hold the plastic jug and milk soaks into my shoes. I open my hand and see I am bleeding.

Mandy Billings is a student in Fort Collins, Colorado. She first met Dr. Zaius in the early nineties.