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Hector was an old man and he did the same old things every day.

Today he wakes up and stares at the ceiling for a full hour before he hauls himself out of bed and straight to the kitchen.

He’s making breakfast today so I’ll tend to the plants. I wonder if the cats are back, they might be dirty again after their adventuring; better clean them before they dirty the house.

He sets the plates down and sets himself down. He’s a quiet man and mealtime is the quietest of his times. He eats in silence, occasionally looking up and frowning. She hasn’t touched her food. Maybe she ate earlier. Maybe she’ll eat later. He isn’t particular about this, he believes meals can and should be eaten whenever appropriate. He is done with his food. He gets up to wash the dishes.

I can’t eat these days… I just can’t bring myself to. It’s not possible anymore. I feel fine though, so… That’s alright. Hector is done clearing up now. He’s gonna go play the piano now.

Hector hobbles happily to the piano and slowly sits on the old, creaky bench. It creaks a little but stands strong – just like Hector, perhaps? He looks over and when he thinks she’s ready, begins playing. It’s a tune the walls of the house have become so familiar with. They seem to reverberate with its sound as though singing along. It seems like every time the song is played it sounds richer, grander, yet… Strangely empty. Like reciting a beautiful poem in a foreign language, getting the pronunciations and intricacies right but not understanding a single word. That was perhaps how the house felt. It sang along but felt nothing.

I feel… I think I feel the house. But it doesn’t feel me. The music sounds good as always but why do I feel it’s forced. Isn’t he enjoying himself? Why does it seem less and less personal with every day? Is something the matter with my husband?

The song comes to its end, finally, and Hector turns slowly to face the chair. That chair that his wife used to sit in whenever he played, listening with her eyes closed and the slight curl of a smile tracing the edges of her lips. He saw all that with his mind but his eyes could not lie nor be lied to. The chair was empty, as it had been for the last ten years. Was Hector sad? Yes, a little. More than anything, he was tired.

I can see it in his eyes. He’s tired. He wants to move on, he’s accepted the truth for a long time now. He wants to move on but he can’t, because I’m not ready. I have gone but I can’t let him go. Not yet. I’m not ready. Just one more day. Please.

The old man stares blankly, waiting. Not today. He knows. He feels he thinks he yearns he sighs he waits.

_I am that old man, I am his wife. I am his thoughts, I am her dreams. I am here, and I am there. I am, and I am not.

_i

who is i

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