about the author

Anthony Santulli is a New Jersey born writer. He is currently attending Susquehanna University on a $70,000 creative writing scholarship. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Extract(s), The Postscript Journal, Bartleby Snopes, The Dying Goose, Trench Foot Gazette, Literary Juice, The Higgs Weldon, Trapeze Magazine, and One Forty Fiction.

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The Bum Who’s Everyone

Anthony Santulli

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Of course he ended up in the dumpster. The recycling bin, actually. A midnight alkie diving in thick shards of Two Buck Chuck and Jim Beam. I see him nibble on wine corks, swirl his tongue inside broken bottles. An all-you-can-drink buffet. Many nights I have found him here, knee deep in amber longnecks hoping someone will pull him out. The old man reeks of ferment and leather. Mumbling to himself, or maybe I’m just imagining it. Rust-voiced, he howls to the sky, It’s a pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon. He points a bottle of Heineken towards a pale streetlamp, inspecting for any liquid shimmer. I laugh at a pun that involves the word moonshine. He hears me, maudlin as Valentine’s Day, and tosses the bottle at my head, cursing. I duck. The bottle hits a wall behind me, smashes. He rolls up his sleeves. I think, His clothes are too nice for this. Stained slacks with a forest green work shirt and barefoot in the trash. He has left his sneakers on the ground, two sleek Nikes, barely scuffed. Stolen, probably. When I look up, he is sucking on his thumb loudly, slurping almost. He cut himself on some glass, the liquor sting fresh and blurry on his skin. Part of me wants to see him pray for sobriety, hands clasped tight as prison cells waiting for the next AA meeting to give him strength or someone to talk to. I picture him forever chained to a coffee mug, shaking from withdrawal. The old man pauses before submerging himself completely. The clink of empty bottles stops. City wind. Silence. Drowned? No. Suddenly, I watch his head rise out of the skim like a triumphant dolphin, an unopened beer can in hand.

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