Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Little Boats

Little Boats

Looking over the people sitting in the outdoor café enjoying their meals and their conversations I marvel at how they are all so seemingly intent on enjoying one of the first beautiful spring days on tables under trees with green leaves just beginning to sprout – a promise of new era. The tables spread about like little happy boats swaying on playful waves under a big blue sky and unbelievable happy sun while I sit and fester aboard a damp cargo ship. The fact is, I was more prepared for anger then tears, but if I give him a moment it should subside then I can finish my drink pat him on the arm and be on my way. Taking a long slow sip I brace myself and think of a suitable approach to comfort him, when the busy waitress squats to our table level to take the order over the restaurant noise. “I’m afraid we are not ready yet”, I say motioning discreetly with slight irritation towards Jake with my martini.

Jake wipe his eyes slowly and looks at her, finally able see the cold exterior everyone always cautioned him about. Her eyes monitoring the crowd of diners around us worried about their reaction to my emotions. Her perfect weather forecaster hairstyle irreproachably impersonal and always perfectly the same like a wig or an antennae or something fabricated to remain constant under any condition. The restaurant, the weather and the happy dinners indifference to our table is like a slap in the face. The tears slowly make there way down his face again but he can’t help but stare and remain slightly in awe of her facial expression which remains proudly raised with a small smile as if listening to an amusing anecdote.

The waitress crouches down once more letting her arms lean slightly onto their table, holding her much battered Bick pen over her small blue pad which suddenly feels to her like the pretext of a prop in a play made to legitimize her role. She cautiously look at the handsome man. “Are you ready?” she asks. “I’m sorry”, the woman says in a voice that shows she clearly isn’t, “we won’t be staying for lunch.” “I’m not leaving” he says, straitening up and wiping his face. The waitress pulls out a receipt for the blond, handing it to her face down and places a blue page with a phone number in front of the man. He looks up stunned and questioning. She shows him the back of her hand, “do you see the white line on my ring finger, it use to be an engagement ring from my fiancé who was having an affair with my friend and whose honeymoon I should now be on. So maybe it’s about finding the wrong guys at the right time and knowing when to grab the right guy at the wrong time.”

I couldn’t believe it. I just sat there with the blue page and the number between us, Jake’s fingers holding it down against the table as if a breeze might pass.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Moon

When she notices the lights in the bedroom go off, she pries her sneakers using the heal of one foot to unhook the heal of the other foot standing at door in the hall and moves quietly through their bedroom room towards the bathroom. Grabbing the toothpaste, she notices him lying in bed through the mirror and she hastily squeezes the tube so hard a large thick gob flies out. She can hear his fake snoring noises and this makes her bang the tube down against the marble counter. She closes her eyes putting both her hands against the counter and counts colorful numbers disappearing into bubbles which float away. She then goes into her yoga pose bending over at the waist allowing her body to hang downward and practices her mantra until she notices some spots on the white tiled floor.

“How much are we paying Anita to clean” she mumbled furiously under her breath. Pulling out all the cleaning products and lining them up like an arsenal on the table but unable to locate a mop she starts rubbing the spots with a tiny face towel. Noticing more spots she moves onto them using a furious circular pattern. She breaks down and does the entire floor till it is a as spotless as the day it was placed. Ready to put the supplies away she notices her husband has stopped snoring and hears the bed creak under his weight. she suddenly pulls out another face cloth and kneeling on the counter she works on the mirror and makes an involuntary hmph sound when staring past her reflection she notices a dark lump under the covers. She cleans the mirror until it seems a window onto somebody else’s life like a good painting that says something beyond the objects represented.

Sitting on the counter she massages her knees and undresses to take a brief shower. Playing with the plug in the tub, which is wedged between her big toe and its slightly shorter neighbor she pushes it in with finality and the tub begins to fill with a soft gurgling sound of a brook cascading into deeper water. Completely submerged in the tub with the water off she can hear the incessant ticking of the clock in their room and her tub slowly becomes filled with a silver glow. She gets up and pokes her head through the small window and watches for a moment the moon who has shed her clouds triumphantly. She then gently leans over standing in the tub to grab a towel when the pile spills over to the floor. She stares at the jumble of colorful towels on the floor, ignores them, and walks out of the bathroom wrapped in her robe leaving the pale light on behind her. She dresses quietly in the dark keeping her eyes averted from his side of the bed and carefully positions herself at the very edge, which she lets her hand hang casually from to keep her self safely anchored.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Big Day

The pretty blue pills lie on his shaking hand. One pill is reasonable, but perhaps his situation requires two. He walks in the other room setting his instruments on the table. Did he take one already, maybe not, maybe he didn’t, maybe he just thought about it. He closes his eyes and sees her face looking up at him, he hums loudly, putting the pill on his tongue, “my God” he sets the beaker down quickly. He almost drank from it. What was in that beaker again? Now where is his glass? Maybe it’s in his coat pocket or hiding under a rug. Did he leave it in his desk ? Opening the desk, a vast array of peacocks climb elegantly out forming a disciplined single line. They are almost ready for the cocktail party. He had forgotten about them. How careless of him.

The vet shakes the empty vial of pills he has stored in his pocket. He glances at his watch and calculates morosely that he has 4 hours left. Shaking his head, there should not be four. It was almost time to go, he had been here all day, he is tired and it is not possible that it's still so early, when it clearly was'nt so befor. He pats his pocket down once more and pulls out the vial again, open its dark brown plastic container and brings it to his eye like a telescope. He should set place cards for the peacocks he reasons to himself, this is very clear. It's important for them to have proper seating arrangements. He shakes his head, Waterford crystals are out of the question, it’s not that type of a reception. His fiancé in her wedding dress was holding both of his hands between hers. The cufflink ladybugs are scared of him, they see him coming and crawl away, using their dots to confuse him. His eyes tightly shut, yet her words float in on feathers which belonged to, to, to, the peacocks who have come to sing. No, it's not time for the cocktail party. Not yet, there are so many more things to do. He can hear her explaining that she can’t...but her words are falling deep into a well. He will cover the well with butterflies. They know how to hide things so well.

He will take the lace veil, the one she ordered and he will make a big wonderful tent which will cover everything. The magnificent lace tent will conceal all the shadows and the flaws, it will be everywhere like snow. It will be great. Everyone will be in awe. But this time no doors.

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