Posted on June 22, 2015June 22, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair6.22.2015 Journal Prompt June 22, 2015: At the end of things. Like this:Like Loading... Related
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I like movies. I like the fact that they end, and that you know that they do. I like old movies best, cos they tell you, in case you are in any doubt. They say ‘The End’ in letters as tall as the screen, and the music tells you too, and the credits rolling and the lights coming on and you collect your things together and leave knowing it’s over.
I don’t like modern movies so much. You still get the music and the credits and the lights coming up, but sometimes you are just not sure. Everything has been left hanging – so there can be a second movie or a third: that’s all folks, for now. And I am uncertain at the close of those movies, uncertain as to whether I should go, or if I will be back in a year to see the next installment.
That’s what it’s like with Gerda, like a new movie and not like an old one. Been like that for some time. We rub along well enough most days and she says I am everything to her, and she is everything to me. And though we’ve got places of out own, we live in the one apartment. If she asks, Gerda, then I tell her I love her more than beans and rice and I tell her that I can see us growing old together and sitting in the park, two grey ghosts, holding hands and smiling at people we don’t know – smiling all the way to the credits rolling.
Gerda wants kids, and I say that there’s time enough for that. She’s in her early thirties and she says the clock is ticking. She wants two kids – one of each – like the perfect little family and a dog in the yard and a cat rubbing the backs of her legs when she’s making pancakes and syrup on a Sunday morning, everything tied up neat in a ribbon and bow.
But the thing is, I’m not ready for all that. Chrissakes, I don’t even know if I believe in that, any of it. I tell her that what we’ve got is just perfect, and I kiss her fingers and toes and she laughs and we make out till we’re both breathless and spent. Then, laying back on the pillows, she starts in again.
Been like that for months now, and sometimes she takes off and I don;t see her for hours, but she always comes back. ‘Cept today she’s gone and it was yesterday she left and now she’s been gone for longer than before so that I’m worried.
I phoned the place where she works, phoned this morning when she should of been there at her desk already. They said she’d worked her notice these past weeks and she’d quit.
And her place, an apartment on Miller Street, it’s gone, too, sold to a family with two kids and a dog. They said they were real sorry but there was no forwarding address.
And Gerda not in our bed this morning, though her things are here and there abouts, so that it’s like one of them modern movies, and I’m not sure if it’s the end or if there’s another day to come after this one has finished.
She did not leave a note or send me a message. She’s just gone. And it’s like we were walking along a pier, a straight line with no deviations, and then the pier just stops and you can fall off the end and Gerda didn’t fall but she jumped.
And I listen for music playing, end of the movie music, and credits roll in my head, and the light comes up on another day, and still it does not feel like an ending. And I lie in our bed – how long do I continue to call it ‘our’ bed? – and I wait, waiting with that same uncertainty that I feel at the end of modern movies.