Watch me leave you. Watch me walk out the door. Don’t think I’ll do it? Don’t think I have it in me? Can’t abide having someone else throw the cards?…I will.
We’ve been dancing this dance, turning the corners on this staggering waltz for as long as I dare to remember. The music has stopped and yet my head spins with a haunting melody, repetitive, elliptical, swirling through my mind with a dancer’s grace.
Goodnight, sweet friend, goodnight…
You look back at me, something like sadness etched in your eyes, as I allow a smile to finally grace my lips.
Records and rhymes, rhythm and remembrances…years of remorse…wrapped in the simple slender shape of a compact disc.
Five smiling faces, frozen in time, former dear friends who once meant something, once mattered to a precious few too innocent to be burdened by memory’s weight.
Tears dripped slowly down a sloped, haggard face battered mercilessly from time’s brutal march.
Names…names that lips had ached to utter…finally fell like teardrops on the floor.
No one listened in the warm still darkness of the attic as a long-belated eulogy was quietly delivered by a man who had at last found time to grieve.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
Flashes like random thoughts illuminated tanned, glowing skin. Hands weighted by money’s greed waved merrily at the gathered throngs of people.
One man, in the corner, watched gloomily with downcast eyes as fluids dripped from a tube into his weary body. Desperately he reached for the man he once knew, startled when his fingers grazed the fuzzy surface of the old television.
He fumbled for his pen and began to write just as a nurse appeared.
“Did you need to say something, sir?” She asked, bubbling with false cheer.
He opened his mouth, but no sound emerged.
Empty house. Empty heart. Empty life. Empty soul.
Bank account filled to immeasurable capacity. Possessions accrued beyond dreams’ stifling borders. Plaudits from critics who had offered acceptance. And a ring from a girl who had once defined love.
All that was left from a dream finally soured All pointless. All hopeless. All gone.
Cold steel met his temple in a caress’ parody.
With a resigned sigh, he pulled the trigger.
Tears dripped down his face as the chamber rotated.
Empty. Like everything else.
He closed his eyes and slipped to the floor, dreaming of days when his life was full.
Cool blue moonlight. Soft warm arms slid around a waist thickened and mellowed and stretched by age. Tender lips resting at a temple no longer weary with the weight of the world. A smile on a face once so bereft of joy.
In the moonlight, starry eyes glittered as the lovers danced to a song that ceased to play through years of life’s grand symphony.
He smiled as she kissed him gently, tenderly…tasting the sweet rich flavor of what he finally dared to call happiness.
“I love you,” He murmured softly, for once thankful to get all he never wanted.
© 2002 ~A.