Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Needful Things

The door opened, and I open my eyes, blinking at the unexpected light. The blinks are rapid, and over quickly.  The whole thing is rather cute. Ever fragile, yet strangely durable, I tilt my head to one side, waiting for him to reach for me. It's always a good question:  Will today be the day he breaks the glass? or, will he just wind me up, only to put me away again?

For a few excruciating moments, he simply putters around, picking out clothes, sifting through the fabric choices like a vinyl connoisseur might pick through records.  I watch in silent obedience, ever mindful that he is far more fragile than me, yet all the more undeserving.

He finally dons a particularly jaunty outfit, and he looks good -quite good -and he knows it, though he does pause to ask me.  I only nod in response.  He is like a lion in winter or a peacock in summer.  What I think matters hardly not at all, but he shows his appreciation for mine with a breezy grin and then vanishes out the door.  I need not have been engaged at all.

Hours pass, and I sit still in the darkness, always steady, always waiting.  But the cracks are beginning to show.  Perhaps I am imagining it, but I swear I can feel them, spidering about my body, in all sorts of mysterious and unexpected ways.  I am not so steady then after all, but the weight of appearing so is literally breaking me apart.

But it hardly matters what I do, as long as I lay and wait. I am but a silent foil, a constant mirror of perfect attention.  My hands are clasped together in front of me.  I am so tired, but my eyes do not close.  It seems they never do.

A door creaks open, faraway and yet quite immediate.  He has returned home.  Patiently, I abide in patience, but he comes not to me.  Instead, I can hear him, afar off and yet as near as the next room, going about his business, groaning just as silent as me in his solitude.  It doesn't matter how perfectly still I may be; it is not enough solitude for him.  The entire space between us could be the universe, and yet the mere thought of my proximity suffocates him.  All of this focus upon him, all of these thoughts, all of this energy.

My hands are still clasped together in front of me.  I don't know how much time has passed, but the spiderwebs have taken over.  All this time my eyes have been open; sleep has been elusive.  He finally comes to me though, after all this time...

...but it is not for me that he has come.  He has only come to change his clothes.