Thursday, October 6, 2011

Love, Marriage and Illness

The alarm clock sounded for the second time and instead of hitting the snooze button again he shut it off and struggled to his feet. Squinting his eyes against the light he stumbled to the bathroom and relieved his bladder and following that as he washed his hands he stared at his image in the mirror. For most of his life he had looked younger than he was, even after he started losing his hair. Now though, the events of the recent months had taken their toll on him and his true age was starting to show. He sighed and thought briefly how it is inevitable that everybody gets older before veering sharply away from the direction those thoughts would take him in. Not now, there would be plenty of time during the day for that.

After a small breakfast, which was all he had ever been able to stomach, he washed the dishes and took his shower then dressed and before he knew it the time had come for him to go. He caught a taxi and looked at the all too familiar buildings along the way. The multitude of taxi drivers rarely varied the route so he let his mind drift a bit and very shortly he was there. Slowly he walked up the sidewalk and in the front door and turned left at the first hallway he came across followed by a right turn into another hallway and in a few feet he was there. Room 317. He emitted a heavy sigh and tried to let go of any negative feelings he had. It would do no good to go into the room in that frame of mind.

Forcing a smile on his face he pushed the door open and beheld her, his love. She fastened her gaze upon him, momentarily unsure of who this man was before it all came back to her. He told her how beautiful she was. She said that it was a lie. He told her how much he loved her, how special she was. She denied it all. She was tired of this place, didn't like the doctors and the staff was so rude. He could only tell her to be patient, perhaps soon she could come home. She fixed a fiery gaze at him and asked who he was. Why are you even here? The man weathered her storm of anger, after all, given her condition it was to be understood. Even though it was difficult seeing her this way it had to be incredibly worse to see it from her view.

Her anger dissipated into meandering stories about her life and shortly after that sleep came to her. This was his cue, his time to leave and go out into the world where he could briefly distract himself from the problems of life. He had work to do so that the bills could be paid and food bought. In the evening he would make his way here again to be by her side, silently listening to the same questions and stories all over again, in this building that normally housed people much older than her that was now her home. No, that word isn't correct at all he thought darkly. This is merely her residence, it's not a home at all. A home is a place where love, hope and dreams live. None of that can be found here, this place has no soul and is only where her body resides and occasionally, if he was lucky, he was able to catch frighteningly short glimpses of the woman he had loved his whole life. Most of the time that woman no longer existed, but sometimes, for those few, short moments she came back to him and those moments of clarity are what he now lived for.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

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