Bitterness tastes like whiskey when you haven’t had it in a good long while. It brings on the shivers. A stippled painting runs the length of your arms. Whiskey is warm and heavy. It is crisp like papery leaves tearing under your shoes on a cool fall morning. You will smell it before it hits you. Bitterness does not taste bad. You’ll wince for a moment, but sit down with the round bottom of a heavy glass sweating across your palm. Your wince will ease. Your eyelids will flutter and your breathing will even. Bitterness is a cord of warmth glowing from your throat to your belly. Released from any responsibility, bitterness will have you swaying on a tabletop before the night’s over.
On a fall evening he walked outside with a crosscut saw propped on his shoulder. The saw hummed a cool song along its row of broken teeth. The humming kept him company while he walked, and his mood was good. He made it to the center of a parking lot and began to cut the cool air into neat squares. He stacked them in low piles while he worked. The air was crisp and broke easily. The saw was only needed to score the seams. Passerby stared at him. Their top lips were flat lines, holding up drooping bottom lips. Lightning bugs flew into the back holes gaping under their noses. The people’s bellies lit up in buzzing oranges and blues. The men and women blinked like lanterns, the children like handheld flashlights. The people thought him strange as they stood in a row like a string of blinking lights, but he kept working and singing along with the saw sliding through the air.