11.7.2013 Journal Prompt

Image from Leaving Las Vegas
Image from Leaving Las Vegas

November 7, 2013: They weren’t important.

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One thought on “11.7.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    Some things last and some things don’t. Mostly they don’t, and he understood that, and so he shrugged and decided to go on with his life.

    He cleared out her things, the clothes she’d left behind and her shoes and her handbags. There was a shop on his way to work and they were very grateful for all that he gave them. For several months he saw dresses she’d worn on display in the window or books she’d read or cups she’d drank from. But slowly even these began to disappear and that was ok.

    He gathered together the letters she’d written, so many letters, written even when they were in the same house and sleeping in the same bed. At first he’d liked that, but nearer the end they’d been a source of irritation when he found them tucked into the pages of books he was reading or hidden behind cushions on the sofa. He made a fire in the back lot, like he did with the winter fallen leaves. And he set those letters to flame and some pictures he had, all just a little out of focus.

    They weren’t important, those letters. Just words set down in a sort of disorder. They sometimes didn’t make sense. Like poetry that is dense and oblique. Maybe they meant something to her. He watched the papers blacken and curl and then an orange glow that broke into a shower of floating embers that drifted in the air, up and up, where they died like stars die. Not important at all.

    But when he was finished and there was not a small piece of her left in his house – their house once – then there was a change. He stopped in at the shop on his way to work and he bought back a book that she’d read and written in the flyleaf was a single word in her hand and it said only ‘lost’. And there was a pair of gloves she had worn, and he thought he could smell her hand still in the fabric.

    And he raked through the black and the ash of his fire out back, looking for the small scraps of her letters where might appear a word she had written or a part of a word. And suddenly there was an importance to everything and everything was a sacred relic of their time together.

    He’d have made a shrine if there had been more than a book and a pair of gloves and some blackened pieces of letters she’d once written. Instead he sat at his desk one day and began the writing of their time together, making things up when he couldn’t remember, telling it the way it should have been and not the way it was.

    Some things last and some things don’t. He is old now and grey is in his hair and his back is crooked and bent. He watches the clock some days, and he sees time is passing and he nods and is satisfied that it is. And he sits at his desk still and still he writes of their time together and what would have been if she’d stayed.

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