Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ink and Paper


Love, 
I'm tired.
Let's fall asleep in one another's arms with the thermostat on too high
so we sweat in the night and undress unconsciously.
We are up with the sun.

The sun was shining through the window, cutting through the glass jars on the shelves above their bed. Her hair was up in curlers and she quietly folded down the comforter. The floor creaked under her wool socks as she made her way across the floor. She glanced at the clock.

It's 7 o'clock. I'll start to make your breakfast.

 She walked to the stairs, taking the curlers out her her hair one by one, letting them drop behind her. The kitchen was cold and the snow had stopped. She pulled two tea bags out of the jar next to the sink and placed them in two mugs. Their handles were chipped. The teapot whistled. The bacon cracked and popped in the pan. She put his jacket on the hook next to the door and placed his shoes below. 

Hurry up. Breakfast is ready. You'll be late.

Love, 
I want to live where I will be okay and you will be okay.
I'll make blueberry pancakes for breakfast and brush your hair before bed.
We are too beautiful for this world.
Let's run till it hurts to breathe.

The jacket and shoes were gone. Time to start the day.

She picked up her trail of curlers one by one as she floated towards her bedroom. His side of the bed was already made. She straightened out the blankets on her side and placed the pillows in her order. The closet had been left open, and she stared at it for a second. It was split right down the middle, his sports jackets and slacks on the right, her dresses and sweaters on the left. Everything had its place. She removed a simple green dress from the closet and put it on, fingering his silk ties that hung from the door.

In an hour she was on her way to the market. The snow crunched under her boots and she took in the world around her. It was quiet. Snow has an odd way of muffling every sound, doesn't it? Smoke billowed from chimneys. People were out and about. Life went on

Love,
Things are looking so grey.
I thought of the wind in our hair and what our soundtrack would be.
You are the only song that makes me smile these days.

Raw sugar. Honey. Swiss cheese. Celery. Peanut butter. She placed her kitchen's needs in her basket and walked toward the register. The man behind the counter smiled at her.

How are we today, ma'am?

She didn't answer, but nodded a farewell as she collected her bags and left. The journey home seemed longer with her groceries, and she tried to adjust to the weight of them in her arms. A little boy came up to her and asked her if he could help her walk home. His innocence brought tears to her eyes. They made their way back home in silence, the little boy's face aiming skyward, looking at the clouds. He brought the bags into her kitchen.

Is there anything else I can do for you?

No.

Are you sure? Would you like me to help you unpack your groceries?

No.

Shovel your driveway?

Just leave. She walked over to her purse, took out her wallet and pulled out two twenty-dollar bills. She was paying him to go away. The boy took the money, looked at her and sighed.

I just wanted to help.

He left. The house was silent.

Love,
I wish I could scoop my love for you into a jar.
You could carry it around with you always.
 That way, I could always be with you.
Even when I wasn't.

It was late. She started to cook dinner. She chopped up a salad and put it in a bowl. Two plates, two glasses, two napkins, two candles in the center. She placed his jacket and shoes back in the closet. Dinner was silent.

After, the television was turned on. She heard a man and a woman discussing the news. An 8-year-old boy had gone missing. There would be snow again tomorrow. Another 50 soldiers died that past week in the war. She cleared the table. A wine glass, still full. An untouched dinner plate. A spotless knife and fork. A mug from that morning, cold tea, cold bacon. The kitchen was cold.

She took one of the candles upstairs with her and placed it on her desk. The comforter was turned down, the pillows were stacked next to the nightstand. His slippers were on the left side of the bed. She climbed under the covers and looked around.

Love,
I'm tired.
Let's fall asleep in one another's arms with the thermostat on too high
so we sweat in the morning and undress unconsciously.
We are up with the sun 

Love,
I want to live where I will be okay and you will be okay.
I'll make blueberry pancakes for breakfast and brush your hair before bed.
We are too beautiful for this world.
Let's run till it hurts to breathe.

Love,
Things are looking so grey.
I thought of the wind in our hair and what our soundtrack would be.
You are the only song that makes me smile these days.

Love,
I wish I could scoop my love for you into a jar.
You could carry it around with you always.
That way, I could always be with you.
Even when I wasn't.

Love,
I'm not strong enough for you.
I'm not even strong enough for me.
I'm sorry.

His letters covered the walls. They covered every inch of paint. When she had run out of room on the walls, she had covered the furniture. Then the floor. She had gently sewn them onto the shades so whenever they were pulled down, light filtered through his words. She lived in paper. She breathed his thoughts. They documented the downward spiral. How could she have not seen it coming?

Se buried her hands in her face. And she cried. Her tears ran down her cheeks and onto the letters scattered across the room. Their ink ran. He was crying, too.

The candle flickered and caught the end of a dangling letter. His words illuminated. They encircled her. She cried. He cried. Their tears couldn't put out the flames. The light from the fire cut through the glass jars on the shelves above their bed.

The television was still on. A man and a woman were still discussing the news.

An 8-year-old boy had gone missing.

There would be snow again tomorrow.

Another 50 soldiers died that past week in the war.

A house caught fire around 8 o'clock last night.

The woman who lived there was killed.

She was alone.

1 comment:

EvaJane Ryder said...

This is so harrowingly brilliant!