This man refused to open his eyes


Paul read this on an old mugshot in the library. He had taken the bus into town to check out a few books on woodworking and got distracted by the True Crime section. He found this mugshot in a book titled Crooks like Us that was published in Sydney. He liked how cities were named after women, or how women were named after cities, whichever was true.

The man in the picture’s eyes were tightly shut, as though he’d just come into the brightness of day after being dark inside for a long time. His head was tilted up and slightly to the right. He was wearing a short light tie with hash marks, and a pinstripe suit. Paul wished the photograph was in color. He was standing in front of a plain brown wall covered in fabric.

The man’s eyes were not so tightly shut as Paul first thought. His eyebrows lifted away from the eyes, giving the man a bemused look. His mouth was slightly opened in what seemed to Paul like a grin. This was accentuated by the man’s ears, which were large. Paul wasn’t sure why the ears made the man look happier. He wondered what crime he had committed.

Above the man’s head was written T. BEDE.22.11.28 / 203 A. THIS MAN REFUSED TO OPEN HIS EYES was written over his suit, directly below his ribcage.