(somewhat) sober now, but sleepy, and so everything is funny. She laughs without control,
abandoning herself to
the leisure of not caring.
She belches loudly, and this erupts
a new peal, waves of chortling
carrying across the small, dank bar,
disgusting some, infecting others,
who giggle along.
The man she is with belongs to this first group.
He is not amused,
and his stern
catches hers and she
His eyes growl
the way her father's used to when
she'd come home
words not necessary to convey the message: deep, deep disappointment.
on the stool, attempts to make light, a slight joke but
and he responds with a terse command that it is
as though she gives no credence to his threat to leave without her,
and though past evidence suggests he
is worn out,
dark circles beneath his eyes, telling.
Is this love or some strange duty he feels obliged to? She's not quite sure;
lurking uncertainty a consumption almost
as complete as drink. She misses his
smile, withers inside a little each time she reaches for him and he stiffens, returns her touch with tepid put-on affection.
Their old way of
replaced with either
laconism or lectures. She
no longer bothers to counter
his well made points, slants secretly,
toward his side.
He treats her
like a child
because she acts like a child.
agree on this.
She hands him the keys, chastened and contrite.
Fellow drunkards flash
looks of pity as
behind him on the way out. Still a
he opens the passenger side door and helps her in, his eyes though, cast down, as if
the very sight of her is painful. She
expects this and accordingly,
demurely turns away herself, drops her
hands into her lap. Now baneful tears burn,
squeezes them back
before he climbs into his side of the car. She can't stand the way,
when she cries,
his resolve slips into helplessness, fueling her own. She will not
use these tears
The car seems to crawl up the long road home and
the window at the woods she knows well.
Even in the dark, the leaves on each tree seem to individualize,
as they creep on and on.
Born in tree country, in all this green, she tries to think back, to when it all turned grey.
She curates memories
in the museum of her mind,
categorizes chronologically events that may have led to current state;
any proof that she is justified in her slow demise.
She finds nothing.
refused to speak,
but she curves toward him now, watches
the methodical rise of his chest as he breathes.
He pretends not to feel her eyes, fixates instead on the road that's winding.
world rests heavy on his back. He is exhausted.
In an unexpected move, he
Stifling a gasp at this
she gently centers her own
and against her will, she begins to sob,
so gratefully relieved by this rescue from the hell of her mind.
She is too immersed in this emotion to notice his reaction,
he is strangely
less mortified by her feminine bent eruption than he might normally be, despite even,
the continuation of the cantering tears; the effect made of streaks of inky, wavy, stripes
down her cheeks.
By the time
they are home,
she looks worse than usual. He carries her, though she is still entirely conscious,
places her tenderly on their double bed. He
edges in next
her slender, frail frame.
They are both still fully dressed.
She is both his illness and his cure, and
relaxes in his arms,
she recognizes and gives into
the soothing, medicating effect, of his closeness.
They know this is
This need, this cycle, this
self-defeating dance they do.
strong enough to stop.
Maybe if they could, they would,
but they are dependent as though for air,
jailed by their
duet of denial, a relationship
reminicscent of lyrics by an 80s hair band.
She is distressingly
still beautiful to him, beguiling.
He is gracious host to
her parasitic nature,
her raging sea of insanity, soaked thoroughly through in her sorrow.
They lie here, just on the brink of dawn with these
will soon arrive with invitation.
The sun will pine across
for their acceptance of her light.
Their breathing slows in unison and they shut their eyes against prophesying
Early, before they know they've
even slept, a goose signals to her flock that
time for flight.
He rises first, of course, brings her
She tells him
she is sorry,
sips the hot forgiveness,
symbolic beginning mendings they continually repeat.
He meant today to
be the day of endings
but rays flicker in, cast shadows on her sadness
and he sits beside her,
The Sunday Whirl
Three Word Wednesday