It started at a black desk. I'd sat to write, sipping coffee and a small soup, running ideas like carrots across the cheese grater of my mind. The dogs were running, ridiculously, under my feet, their favorite game. When I asked if they would like, "outside?" they charged for the door like maniac children; I smiled as I let them out.
Only one returned.
The other, neatly removed from our lives like an unwanted afterthought, prised out of our delicate shell like a shot from a wound.
In brief glimmers now, I miss her, see her out the windows, can feel how a parent feels when their child fails to return home. Waiting for their safety, to see their haired head bob just above the window frame. Picturing them, forever looking away, and wondering.
Reading something one does not want to read is always a challenge. There is, of course, the disbelief. An internal force of will so strong, so palpable, that it tears the psyche in two; one must remain in the truth, but the other is pleased to go into fancy, where life continues unabated as though a terrible calamity had not suddenly befallen us. But no matter how we cling, we must be pulled away.
I have a sore. Several across my body. Small round traces in my skin that sting to touch.
She put down the letter, holding her breath, 'lest the wind blow away the spider-web holding her to her past moment, her last second of hope, breaking the worst finish line ever, pushing her through it to, "another failure"
She felt like a pebble in a valley of tremendous monoliths. the minutes ticked by, she floated home, pulled by the dog, the letter dangling from one finger, as if she did not own it, it was not hers, this? No. Not mine.
Use it, was her advice, given like a crust from a man in a thick fur coat. But all the words were out there, used, and scrubbed, and reused, dull, they could never be new. Another failure, even her grief taken from her. Even sunk in the mire, her own personal horror was mundane, not worth anything. Glued to the dirt like a bug, thrashing stupidly in the bitter knowledge, feeling so foolish that a million tragedies were happening everywhere, and were so much worse, but they could not touch her like this, the spike in her bubble, the rape of hope., So ridiculous, then, to cry, wail, heave, but each light has a darkest hour, all united in sorrow. Tadpoles of misery, glistening in turmoil.
Fine. She bellows.
Throw me to ruin.
Bring the horror.
Just do not consign me to wallow in this sick tepid nothing. Cast me to shadow or let me stand in the light. Just don't stand me in the twilight and promise me the sun.