Fiction – Neil Carpathios

Neil Carpathios



As for the woman digging in a dumpster, pulling out banana peels, empty cans, an old sneaker, twisted hangers, newspapers, and then a plastic Christ pinned to a white cross looking up as if to heaven pleading to be saved, as the story goes, now smeared with tomato sauce and coffee grounds—I will not say she was an angel in disguise. I will not claim I saw with x-ray eyes through gnarled clothes and pocked skin to something glowing the way a light bulb does when covered by a towel. For all I know she could have been a wrecking ball to the glass house of a child’s heart, as far from any god as you or me. I will not make more of her and what I witnessed than what it was: how she held the startled Christ up to get a better look. How beside the Walmart she started to laugh at a thought or memory no one could see, then noticed me watching as I loaded my car with bags of food—and like a deer in the headlights froze, then kept on digging.