Confessions of a Crap Artist
“Thanks”, she said, accepting it from him. As she took the box he drew back, and, hearing himself give a gasp, he hit her in the chest. She flew backwards, away from him, dropping the bottle of smoked oysters; at that he ran at her — she was sliding down against the side of the the table, knocking the lamp off as she tried to catch herself — and hit her again, this time sending her glasses flying from her face. At once she rolled over, with stuff from the table clattering down on her.
At the doorway, Elsie began to scream. Bonnie appeared — he saw her white, wide-eyed face — but she said nothing; she stood gripping the doorknob… she had been in the bedroom. “Mind your own business,” he yelled at the children. “Go on,” he yelled. “Get out of here.” He ran a few steps toward them; Bonnie remained where she was, but the baby turned and fled.
Kneeling down, he got a good grip on his wife and lifted her to a sitting position. A ceramic ashtray that she has made had broken; he began collecting the pieces with his left hand, supporting her with his right. She slumped against him, her eyes open, her mouth slack; she seemed to be glaring down at the floor, her forehead wrinkled, as if she were trying to make sense of what had happened. Presently she unbuttoned two buttons of her shirt and put her hand inside, to stroke her chest. But she was too dazed to talk.
He said, by way of explanation, “You know how I feel about getting that damn stuff. Why can’t you get it yourself? Why do I have to go down and get it?”
Her head swung upward, unti she gazed directly at him. The dark color of her eyes reminded him of that in his children’s eyes; the same enlargement, the depth. They, all of them, reacted by this floating backward from him, this flying further and further along a line that he could not imagine or follow. All three of them together… and he, left out. Facing only this outer surface. Where had they gone? Off to commune and confer. Accusations shinning at him… he heard nothing, but saw very well. Even the walls had eyes.
– Confessions of a Crap Artist by Philip K. Dick