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Mountains and Mole Hills
Joe came home last night at midnight. His disheveled hair danced about with the breeze of a slammed door. Upon his face was a look of discontentment. Grasped between emaciated fingers, his cellular phone lay lifeless. Joe never called. Though the dismantled mechanics of a newly purchased phone excused his long absence, he lacked the decency to inquire about the use of another, more equipped device. This sheer inconsideration led to the journey of a lifetime, I imagine. His frightened flesh encased a pale undertone present only through the face of a partying teen. Joe's crystal eyes, though remarkably colored, were laced with a lining of icy glaze that was regrettably noted. His jacket percolated a stale smoky scent about the room while his tongue uttered a word of exaggerated drink.
'Where were you? Did you walk home? What happened tonight?!' I inquired without an instance of hesitation. Joe simply flopped into the long corridor that stemmed from his blooming chamber. Silence was the word of choice, evidently.
My mouth welcomed a grand breath of fatigue. It was late for both of our bodies. My figure peeled off the cheap pleather couch that housed my finicky anticipation. Imprinted with the creases of the faux fabric, my arms reached high into a stretching position. If his once-immaculate cellular reincarnated, a thousand missed messages would appear upon the screen, tormenting the voicemail into submission. That instant thought must be stored away for a later time, however. A simple lecture streaming from my mouth at this hour should not intensify the problem. My big toe caressed the switch on the fallen remote that lay injured upon the floor. The surge of energy that gave power to the hypnotizing glow ceased, accompanied by a fitting note. My legs wobbled in weariness down the corridor once flopped about by Joe. An additional weight pressed against the shades of my eyes, no longer able to unblind themselves. The discussion regarding Joe's unacceptable timing would have to pause for a good night's rest.
The mountainous structure of stuffed covers and sheets welcomed my long-awaited rest. I traversed its slopes and settled in the lowest of its valleys to claim as my slumber palace. There was a time where these comfort mountains were mere mole hills. The comfort of this sleeping valley was not dependant on the height of its mountains, but on another. This 'another' was a creature built of genuine emotion and modest intellect. Instead of this bulky, cotton-filled consolation, his hard-worked flesh and gentle countenance embraced my exhaustion. His figure was of average length, sporting a stiffened muscle or two upon his limbs. Frayed phalanges met to form the diagram of a working hand, tough with calluses, weak with bruised scrapings and scars. These suffering hands, though physically unaesthetic, moved elegantly in motion and caressed every curve of my flesh with weightless consideration. Seemingly soft hands were missed upon my cheeks. They were missed in the small of my back, filling in the concaved emptiness.
These mountains I have constructed are the new encasement needed for my figure's slumber. I wiggle and swivel towards a satisfactory position. The cushioned coverings puzzle to fit into every notch and curve of my flesh. In reciprocation, the convex formations that protrude to form my figure embed themselves into the surrounding material. These were my man-made working hands, though not merely as gentle or perfectly placed as my belated husband's. The thought of this produced diamond droplets that danced their stream about my cheek and lullabied my flesh to sleep.
An alarming cacophony forced my eyes to become unveiled and my flesh massaged into motion. After an attempt at silencing the waking 'morn, I rose from my slumber palace to greet the new day. Countless checklists buzzed about my head in a circular fashion. It was a morning before school for a bitterly single widow. My fingertips waved the curtains to a brightened part as my pupils adjusted to the sun's radiance. Sore arms sprouted from my sides into a V-shaped stretch. At once, I reported to Joe's place of rest in order to awaken him. The absence of lighting coated all enclosed atmosphere with a blackened blanket, excluding the small slice of sun that echoed the door's opening. 'Joe' it's morning! Come on, get up or you'll be late for school!' The typical response to this form of command was a moan and a waking-up process that lasted a few minutes. Regardless of the moan's absence, my feet directed me down the corridor and into the kitchen. It was here where I prepared a steaming cup of blackened caffeine and a healthy array of sustenance equipped for Joe's morning meal. With all utensils and needed material at my disposal, my limbs went to work on preparing all morning necessities.
Moments passed during this preparation. Additional moments passed, and the warmed bathroom never once produced shower sounds, not one drop. 'Joe! Get up, honey, you're going to be late!' I attempted the second plea. No response. I assume this is typical behavior following a night of sheer debauchery. No phone call and I'm left at the latest of hours in the most fretful of positions. Not a moment passed where sympathy was felt. The pure inconsideration resulting in my depressive state of worriment sent my mind into a small uproar. Regardless of my angrily beaten mind, it was still my task to be a mother.
'Joe!' I called, echoing amidst the morbidly darkened hallway. He was either declared deaf or trying his hardest to ignore my callings. I trudged a steady and proud pace towards his abode of angst. I prepared my being for the lecture of a lifetime. Phrases laced with proper vocabulary raced throughout my conscious, selecting key terms, disposing of unnecessary curses and assumptions. I increased the slice of light that gleamed into the dark bedroom, my fingertips pressing lightly on a paper sign reading, 'Stay Out!' in bold characters. Cold feet planted themselves within the framing of his door, and my hands motioned toward the light switch.
One click of the light froze the entirety of my self into a standing coma. One click and the substances within my stomach bubbled with fright. One click revealed partial truth to Joe's unforgiving absence the previous night. Icy pale flesh blanketed his figure. His arms were strategically placed as a corpse in his coffin. His hair was as disheveled and his countenance as discontent. From his pale peach lips a droplet of crimson meandered down a salivated stream. I knew not the series of events that usually accompanied an event such as this. I knew not of the proper emotion portrayed on the face of a widow now alone in every case. My bitterness towards Joe's small inconsideration dropped deep into a depth of bubbling bile. My eyes watered small streams of mourn as my body collapsed in a faint of disbelief. All following events were forever a trip of blurring figures and towering mountains of paperwork. Mountains have once comforted my tiring being, and now probe at my last thread of an organism. I never once touched Joe's frozen flesh but to kiss him good bye, a motion engraved within the corridors of thought.
Lawyers, public enforcers, religious advocates, doctors of the deceased, and all other necessary figures painted Joe's walls with their cold-gripped presence. I stood silent amidst the only empty room in the house. I stood silent, staring into the mango wallpaper as if it would come alive. Silent as the figures of higher stature tore their curiosity about the scene. The body was disposed as any other. The decorative placement of the room was ignored. The secret treasures that hid themselves within the creases of his darkened sanctuary were tossed aside. These ghostly figures displayed no emotion of sympathy. They offered no attempt at consolation. They picked apart the very essence of my last love as if humans were granted no dignity in death!
I was approached by a young man dressed meticulously in the navy armor of the enforcers of the law. He bowed his head with consideration until my eyes acknowledged his presence. Not a word traveled from his lips, for there was not a word he could use to blanket my abandonment. His well-toned arm out-stretched to address my attention. Laced between his fingertips was a torn leaf of paper with scribblings upon it. There was no hesitation as to its contents. I tore the parchment from his hands and held it upon my breast. The figure excused his ghostly presence with a second nod and returned to dissect the remaining contents of Joe's room. The stream of tears flooded my complexion and began to patter onto Joe's final statement. I peeled the soggy parchment from my breast and began to read. Due to the unkempt display, my mind at first worked to decipher every character. Once an epiphany awoke within the tear-stained ink, I read:
The fire that danced its love upon my heart
Extinguished and made my blood run cold.
These embers poured out like fire upon trees,
Filled with hopeful prophecies.
Never to be returned, the hope was left
With an extinguished heart and an empty hand.