Sunday, November 25, 2012

the whole wide world

You kiss the departing, hug them tight, they break your grasp, escaping with small bundles of leftovers, or perhaps a borrowed book. They pause at the open car door, squinting back at you, hand shielding piercing sunlight, seemingly wondering if your eccentricity is real, and you wave vigorously to prove it. They honk the horn twice, spinning gravel. Two honks must mean good bye, you deduce.
Your best friend in the whole wide world, Tatyana, is the last to leave. She dried the dishes happily despite her shattered left wrist in a white cast. She smiled at your jokes, and prepared a pot of coffee for you before bidding adieu, riding away on a bicycle. Holding the cup in both hands, the stinging warmth reminds you of bitter January days coming out of the cold into a inviting fragrant hot biscuit kitchen.
There's the ringing silence in the quiet homestead now, leaving you alone to converse with the echoing haunted voices of tenants from long ago. They are so easy to get along with (no whispering allowed), but you dare not tell a soul.
Anticipating; the time is now, the orange setting sun ignites the pilot light and engulfs the chair, warmed to touch like an alluring over-sized favorite blanket, in the only room without a fireplace. An open book and hot coffee. The lightened heart races, the yellowed lamplight makes the uneven gray walls cozy, and you read lines twice, sometimes three times. It's useless, your quickening pulse is deafening. You close your eyes and fall asleep in the comforting chair, just like your old Uncle, smelling of cigar smoke, used to do when you were a child, as he perused old photos protected in clear plastic.
Curled up awkward in the deep frigid chair, you awaken in twilight. A dog is barking. Bare tree limbs shamed by their nakedness brush against the hollowed-out house in a wind storm, and a draft snakes through the crevices ringing glass bells, rattling Depression Glass in the hallway curio cabinet, and you have no idea where you are in that fleeting moment until Tatyana appears in an ankle-length white dress above you holding a solitary candle. You're still blinking as the flame turns to a wisp of smoke, and in the dark she asks, her voice breaking, if it's all right to stay the night.

7 Comments:

Blogger ReBelle said...

Phil, Phil, you have me at your feet. Write on...

11/25/2012 4:54 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

... beautiful on so many levels. The image of 'pilot light igniting' the chair with warmth took my breath away.

11/26/2012 11:37 AM  
Blogger Dave King said...

the orange setting sun ignites the pilot light and engulfs the chair,

There were plenty of others like it, but this small extract is a beaut!

11/27/2012 4:38 AM  
Blogger The Bug said...

Such a lovely story - I'm sitting here shivering at the wind storm (well, & my office is chilly too - ha!). My favorite line is, "inviting fragrant hot biscuit kitchen..." I would like to be in that kitchen right now, with or without Tatyana!

11/27/2012 3:22 PM  
Blogger Wayne Pitchko said...

very good...thanks for sharing this

11/27/2012 10:38 PM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Oh yes...say it's alright...

11/28/2012 1:33 PM  
Blogger ~T~ said...

Great atmosphere. Must have been quite a party...

12/07/2012 9:12 PM  

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