Sunday, April 5, 2009
He stood in the front yard of her Mom’s house. No one was there. He had just arrived from her empty studio apartment downtown. Birds chirped and flitted about invisible to him within the piss smelling hedges. The sky was grey, but the air was warm and stagnant. All he could think about was burning down the simple white house and its dry flat lawn. He knew about what had gone on inside over the years and he blamed the entire neighborhood for not doing anything about it. As he stood in this quiet place, his stomach turned over itself and became a boiling pot of self-pity. He sat on the top of three stairs leading to the porch, filled with frustration, but feeling too weak from exasperation. The black painted wrought iron hand railing lining the stoop felt like bars to a cell and everything about this place made him feel empty and alone. He began to realize how horrible her memories really were and that she most likely would not have come here. But, she clearly was not coming back to her apartment, so now he didn’t know where to find her. He wanted to find her more than anything. He buried his face in his hands and began to think about the way her tiny hands would primp her crooked hairstyle, while she blushed for him. He pictured her in her old fashioned clothes, her cumbersome high heels and the way she would begin smoking with a cigarette holder, when she had too much to drink. She was playing the part of a 1940s movie star for him, and he found her adorable, like she was a young girl dressing up in her Grandmother’s clothes. When he first met her, the only thing that felt out of place was the sudden reluctance of his friends to hang out with him anymore and the ease with which he was able to ease her into bed. It had been only recently that his mind was telling him that something was not quite right. She had always seemed needy to him, but he appreciated that. He wanted to take care of her. She had been erratic and inconsistent during the short time he had known her, but her open and often raw emotions made him feel like he truly knew her. Yet the last time they were together, she was dramatically begging him to leave her alone. She was lying in his bed, in the dark, when he got home from work. He thought he saw bruises on her arms when he turned on a lamp. She began to cry hysterically and acted as though he was threatening her with violence, when he asked her about the bruises. He couldn’t deal with her, so he left and wandered the streets in an attempt to sort out the confusion and anger in his mind. Finally, he began to realize that she had blinded him. She had concealed herself behind her frequent laughs, her easy tears and her willing body. She was playing a role for him the entire time. This had been his first visit backstage. He finally realized that she needed help. He ran back to his apartment, only to find her gone.
Still in the yard of the home she grew up in, he stood up and paced back and forth imagining a confrontation that he regretted never having with her. His mind seethed with fury thinking about the emptiness that being near this place bore into him. Lost in his useless monolog, he was unaware that his arms were finally open to her. He was ready to help her and protect her for the first time. She had helped him from the first moment they had met, but he had never offered her anything but his own selfish desires. After several silent minutes, he stiffly and slowly walked away from the house and down the middle of the treeless street lined with identical one level houses. The spider's webs entangled in the stiff hedges were the only signs of life.