10/20/2016

 Some time prior I recall the account of an old acquaintance.  A once cheery demeanored fellow whose life tumbled into the ashes of despair.  But can the void torn asunder by loss be grafted whole by the return of that same presence?  Or does the aura of dreadpermeate from the once beloved sights of those long past from the eyes to the deepest recesses of the mind?  I record this account and hope that this answer never befalls myself. 

The bell signals the eleventh hour, chiming above the radio. I do my best to keep the volume loud to take in our favorite song, but the old thing is barely audible drowned out by the clock. After a strenuous day my mind was addled and body, now ravaged by time, weak with fatigue. The house is pitch black, save for a sole street light shining through the side window.

I take a second to look about the darkness and notice how the shadows crawl from the corners. The recent gift of loneliness brings a newfound desolation to a place once full of life. My weathered hands caress the length of the wooden stair rail. The closer I approach the bedroom, the less that streetlight penetrates the enveloping darkness. Despite the obsidian shadows that enshroud the hallway, years of repetition allowed my feet to locate what was once our room.

Entering my chambers a pair of small yellow orbs greets me in the night. Just then memories of the day when we found Old Miss as a kitten flood back. My ears pick up her faint purring; it brings me a moment of comfort. In one arm I take the hefty feline to the bedroom window, the open space allows me to take in the night’s summer air.

Old Miss sniffs for moment and hisses before leaping down the roof and to the alley behind the house. How many times had you stood at this very spot to watch that cat make the same trip over and over?  How many times had I taken such moments for granted? I knew the answer. With a long yawn, I put an end to my pondering and shut the window. Finally, I plant myself on the bed. The once luxurious furniture feels less hospitable now that it is only occupied by one. Before lying down my eyes look to the nightstand, the gleam of a picture frame glimmers faintly. Though not visible the contents of the photograph are vivid in my mind.

The sun soared that day. You were there, that blond hair against the blue backdrop of the afternoon sky was further complimented by that permanent smile on your face. My head falls onto the pillow.  I begin to stare into the blank ceiling. I cannot recall how long I lie in my waking slumber until the bells begin to chime, signaling midnight has arrived.

My eyes begin to close but a movement rustling by the dresser pops them open. Had it not been for my fatigue I would swear I caught the sight of two small yellow orbs. No, it is just my mind I tell myself.  In my ears a blaring racket from downstairs finds its way up to the room. The sounds of static intensify until a familiar song comes clear. Never had our radio gotten that loud. I now find myself frozen in our bed, all too aware of the presence lying next to me.