Busy Doing Nothing

by Chris Conroy

There was a knock at the door. I waited. Again, knocks. My doorbell was broken. I figured the person outside my house, the one staring at my white paint-chipped door with the 2231 spray painted on it — each number a different color (2: black, 2: red, 3: green, 1: yellow) — was probably pressing that too, the doorbell, probably with their thumb, maybe a knuckle, the middle finger knuckle, but probably their thumb, that’s what I would use, my thumb, listening for a clang or a buzz, perhaps even a little medley they expected to hear — you know some people have those fancy doorbells that play like the theme song from Superman or Fantasy Island; these are the same people who have like Roger Moore or Bill Clinton on their answering machine; you call up and it’s like: “Bond, James Bond… leave a message after the explosion,” OR: “Hello, fellow Americans… in these troubled times… we need a message of hope to be left after the beep, thank you,” — coming from inside the house. But all they would hear would be the sound of their hand knock, knock, knocking… and then eventually, they would leave.

6S

Chris Conroy, author of the novel Between the Lines, is the youngest of six and is going gray. Check out an excerpt from his novel in the 21st issue of zingmagazine.