The Visible Filth
Nathan Ballingrud
Contributed by Shemika Thormahlen
Chapter 6

It is the usual slow Wednesday as at the bar. Will is scared, and the crippling feeling creeps him out every time the door swings open. Derek and his partner come in for drinks, but he never talks to them about the phone. The images and video on the device left both Carrie and Will speechless, to the point that neither talked nor kissed before parting for the evening. Later, Alicia comes in alone, and her presence makes him experience a different universe, away from the present reality. She makes it clear that she has some issues with Jeffrey, mentioning how he is an asshole and punishing him for his actions.

The two off-duty police officers leave; but Alicia sticks around through Will’s entire shift. As per usual, Doug comes to relieve Will at 2 a.m. They do not want to go home yet, and decide to go up to the levee and share a half-full bottle of bourbon. They drive there, and end up kissing, which becomes weird after some time. After driving back to the parking lot in a painful silence, the two finally exchange a few words before Alicia leaves. Will watches as she drives away in her own car, and continues to sit in his own.


The horrible things Will saw on the phone are traumatizing, and his fear is genuine. His interactions with Carrie seemed awkward due to the tension created by the images and video clip. Although he needs to report everything to the authorities, his ignorance makes him fail to talk to Derek and his partner. The presence of Alicia makes things more complicated as he cannot experience reality when around her — as his love for her is profound, making him lose focus on the priorities, such as the need to talk to the police.

Alicia, too, has some feelings for him as she manages to stay through his shift even though she does not intend on becoming drunk. Her acceptance to accompany him up to the levee shows that she enjoys his company. Nonetheless, she manages to stop the kissing for she knows it is wrong — since both Will and Alicia are dating other people. Furthermore, her actions show that she is caring about other individuals and that she cannot hurt them because of simply what she wants. On the other hand, Will is predictably self-centered, or blinded by love, since he does not consider the love that Carrie has for him.

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