It takes all my strength to close the bedroom window with a dignified, deliberate movement. I want to make noise. I want to slam the window shut, shatter the glass, scream through the fractured pane, shove my arm into the opening and watch as jagged edges slice into my skin and draw bright red blood.
“I’ve got to go now, babe. He’s expecting me to be home at five-thirty so we can take the kids to the movies.”
“Call me on Friday, Susan? I miss you when we go too long without …” I can’t finish my sentence. And anyway, she knows what I want. She knows far too well that her presence in my paper bag life has replaced the bumps of coke that used to push me through these endless nights.
She leaves me again, her shadow disappears down the hall and out the door. I’m left alone in bed to wonder why I wait for her return. What part of me cannot exist without wanting someone this much? Is it my heart, my brain, my DNA?
I light a cigarette. The first heady drag of biting smoke burns deep into my lungs but I continue to puff until my throat feels as ragged and itchy as the thoughts in my head.
I’m pleased to be back online with a new writing blog. I will be posting regularly from now on; content will be a combination of fiction and non-fiction writing, and there will be at least 2 posts a week (though not always on the same day a week).
Thank you for visiting!
You run your index finger up along the smartphone’s screen, focused on finding tweets to which you should reply. Social media demands only short bursts of attention from you. Thirty seconds of passive interaction seem possible this Sunday.
Then a photo, the photo, rises on the news feed. You’re startled, yet it still takes you a moment to realize the pale skin and grim countenance form a familiar face.
His red-rimmed eyes stare deadened from the police camera’s harshly lit capture. Are his eyes red because he wept? Were his tears released by regret, or fear, or anger?
You turn the phone off – leave it turned upside down on the kitchen table.
Later, you won’t remember the words you now search for in the morning newspaper’s pages. The headline’s inky black, funereal print leaves gravity on your hands. You clutch the paper. Tangible. Proof.
As you read, your stomach hollows except for the push pull of twisting knots. Your chest tightens until suddenly your body forces a gasp, a reminder to take in oxygen.
It will be many days before you don’t need those reminders to breathe.