Glasshole, they called him. Binnie, like my dad. Well, used to be, before the accident. Back then he was Ben. Ben the bin man. Dealt with rubbish.
Pissing about, he was. That arm that lifts the bins, can’t remember what it’s called, got in his belt. Lifted him into the back with the bin. Guy pressing the button weren’t looking. Eyeing up some schoolgirl, I heard. Dirty perv.
Anyway, it was recycling week. Bin lorry was full of broken glass, and Ben went in face first. Right mess. Helicopter came and everything, flew him to the hospital. It was on the news.
So Ben’s off work for months and insurance won’t pay out ’cos he was too close to the back of the lorry. Binnie’s got rules and he hadn’t followed them. His own fault, they said. Went to court too. He couldn’t make it, what with being in hospital with no face, but he lost it all. His job, his house, then his wife. She wasn’t interested in chopped veg and shacked up with this neighbour she’d been seeing a while. Got pregnant, I heard. She never divorced Ben though.
When he got out he had nowhere to go. Council gave him the flat next door but he had no cash and just got benefits paid each fortnight, like the rest of us. Not much but it’s enough to live on, just about. Stayed indoors. It was his face, see. All pieces and still full of shards and spikes. Like patchwork.
He never recycled after that. All his glass went in bin bags. Guess he couldn’t stomach it. I’d take it out for him and sort through it. Never told him. He never asked, neither. Just left his bags outside the door.
Those kids were just being kids. I mean, they’re little shits, but they’re just kids. Throwing bottles at his door so they smash. There’s always broken glass on the stairs too, not that he’d seen it. He got deliveries from the shops. Didn’t leave.
Guess he didn’t like the name though. Couldn’t believe it when I saw him. Those kids’d been yelling glasshole through his letterbox and I opened my door to tell ’em to piss off. Then his door opened and out he came. Looked like one of them disco balls in the streetlamp. Light reflecting everywhere, except it’s all stitched together with skin. He’s only got one eye now, too. I didn’t say nothing, couldn’t really. The kids are screaming and running and he walked out. He was wearing a dressing gown, I remember that. It was one of them pink furry ones. Must’ve been his ex’s, or maybe he just liked it. He was wearing big black boots though. Work boots.
So once the kids were gone he turned and looked at me. Scariest thing I ever saw. Then he sort of smiled and just left.
He hasn’t come back since. Not sure where he went but every now and then I hear about him. Last week some woman was being followed and he saved her. She didn’t see him enough, but this guy across the street described it. Superhero stepping out of the shadows and saving the day. Stopped a mugging the week before.
Dunno what got into him. Still dealing with rubbish, I suppose. So you wanna take my picture or what? Hope this gets on the front page. Secret identity revealed. I like his new name, too. Mirrorface is much better than Glasshole.
© 2020 Seb Reilly
Seb Reilly is a writer, fiction author and occasional musician. He lives by the sea in Thanet, Kent, with his family and two cats.