Something Old and Something Blue

October 19, 2007
By Molly Horan, Bristol, CT

The old man found himself questioning the bible. Left to decay in the new armchair, he felt his body slowly dissolving, bones liquefying instead of crumbling; sure the pale blue suede would soon be filled with pools of mush rather than a pile of dust. A lifetime damning Darwinists and here he was, slowly reverting to that primordial ooze they were always going on about instead of subtly shifting to the ashes he had been promised.

His son had given him the armchair as a gift. To commemorate another year of struggling to keep his solid form. To remind him he was growing older, wiser, and that he wasn’t forgotten. Yet. The new armchair’s color was all wrong for the room which smelled of resignation. Baby blue, robin’s egg blue, sky blue. The newness of these fresh spring colors mocked him, though none with as much scorn as powder blue, which reminded him of the fact his body refused to live up to the expectations his immortal soul.

The new armchair not so subtly disguised as a gift was really a necessity that the many iridescent curly cues and bright colored bows could not disguise.
The old armchair had sagged and rotted so much like the old man his son had worried he would not be able to discern one from the other when both were still.
Before the non-gift was bought the son had tried to slip slim pillows between the old man and the old chair like bits of wax paper the old man had sandwiched between his homemade Carmel squares to keep them from melting into one.

The old man’s room hung with pictures of the crucified Christ, which were there to remind him of true suffering, but lately called to mind a shameful pang of envy. To go quickly, a silent longing plea flashed over and over across his mind, with no more power to stop it than he had to stop his gradual diffusion.
As the flashes became louder and brighter, the old man counted the seconds before the thought struck, and felt his skin begin to spread and pool around his jelly bones, and realized the lighting was only a few miles off.
The old man questioned whether his faith still stemmed from his devotion to God, or if it remained only to distract him from the vision of a ‘frigerator. Not one of those overgrown meat lockers the monkey men used to keep you on ice. Just a common refrigerator they would fit him in, shoved in the back like his son’s leftovers, with intentions to recover it later for practicality’s sake, or for the sake of the hungry faced children on the cable channels, but always forgotten in the end. Until the rotting stench reminds him.

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