After Korea, Billy's uncle, who stayed at Billy's house for awhile, came back a little screwy. "Nerves" was the way they explained it. He'd take the center out of a slice of white bread and shape it into a small, tight ball. The doctors said it might help.
All day he'd roll them, over and over between his thumb and fingertips like worry stones, till they all turned black—a beer in one hand, a doughy ball in the other—working it, working it...
Whenever we'd go to Billy's house we'd see them everywhere, like dirty eyeballs, staring up at us from sofas, countertops, sinks—a creepy pile of them in the ashtray on the coffee table in front of the TV.
Mad to Live