I walked into the kitchen. No flour, no bowl, no baking rolls. I tossed the coffee on the counter. As I walked out of the kitchen, I slid my fingers along the counter top. In the sink sat a single coffee cup. Back in front of my computer, I shook the mouse to clear the screen saver and read the last lines typed there.
A frozen soul, rusted shut by tears.
Heart stumbling along the broken path.
My shadow stretches out behind me as happiness sets on the horizon.
New love glitters ahead. Just a mirage I thirst after.
I tried to type but the screen got blurry. I laid my head on my folded arms and let the tears flow. Why? Why? Was it me? Did I do something wrong? I couldn’t find the answer. Then my thoughts turned to an unfocused God. What did I do to deserve this? Why can’t I be happy? I pounded the desk top with my fist. Slowly the tears ebbed and I sat back up. Using the back of my hand, I wiped my eyes. My faced my future. It appeared as an endless black wall. I could only see the ‘right now’. I looked at the clock on the wall. The minute hand shifted one position to the right. Help me to midnight, I asked nobody. I turned back to the computer screen. The images displayed were pictures I had taken. They consisted mostly of vistas I had captured while hiking. They might as well be black and white, out of focus. Once more I moved the mouse, stopping the slide show before her image appeared, though she was everywhere. My home was decorated with her memories.
I stood and walked through the living room. I sat on the couch where I could feel her feet in my hands. I rubbed them with lotion, the heel, the arch, each toe, one by one, kissing each as I finished. I left the couch and returned to the kitchen where I washed the cup, slowly under warm soapy water feeling her hands under mine. Her thin fingers intertwining with mine as I kissed her neck. From the kitchen, I wandered to the porch where I could see the ghost of her presence bent over the plants, working the soil, a strand of hair falling in her face. She used the back of her dirty gloves to swipe it away. Each plant, each flower, each rock glowed from her touch. I turned from the dull fall outside but when I did, I faced the closed door to the bedroom. I hadn’t slept there since she left. Unable to stop myself I walked slowly over.
I placed my palm and forehead against the door. Inside, I knew there was a whirl of memories, vibrant, alive. A hot tear ran down my nose. I had to turn away.
I let go a silent yell. STOP IT! I cried.
Back at my computer desk, holding my head in my hands, I took inventory of myself. My heart beat once per hour, slowly and sadly, using only the effort it needed to be successful. Had I inhaled at all? Tears wrung from my eyes, left me dry, empty. My soul drifted, looking for a place to settle but like a child lost in the woods, it found no friendly place to rest. The mouse felt like a hundred pounds. The words on the screen faded in and out. I didn’t even want to think. I looked back at the clock. One more tick. This was a never ending day.
I began to understand why some chose a permanent relief or maybe heartache followed and remained forever. I shuddered. Many fled to parts unknown where email did not exist and the waiting game didn’t apply. I looked over at the phone, the red zero on the answering machine taunted me. What could I do? Where could I go? I felt like a junkie needing a fix but having no cash. I was desperate to rid myself of these feelings. Where could I go where she wasn’t? She had woven herself through every fabric of my life. I screamed to the ceiling, at the walls, down at the floor until my throat felt raw and hoarse. I ripped the recorder and phone off the end table and watched them smash off the wall. I grabbed my computer and lifted it over my head but I paused.
I set it back down. I typed.
I love you still but not always
Time, the irresistible force, fades
Upon the mantle of my memory
You take your place