Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Oh. OK. Well, I thought maybe, um.
"Lean closer to the screen so you don't miss this: Go away. Now. Forever."
[House lights brighten. Time passes. Background scene changes. Lights dim.]
"Let me know what happens."
I thought you said ...
"Oh, so now you're going to take that away from me?"
How's that saying go? Oh yeah: Never push a loyal person to the point where he no longer cares. The saying makes a poor attempt at being gender neutral by using "they" instead of where I used "he." First, my use is masculine, so the alteration is appropriate. Second, isn't "they" plural yet "person" singular?
I recall a secret room. Nobody knew about it but me. Or so I imagined. I lived as many hours as I could there. Everything was in its place whenever I returned. I was certain it was mine alone. So I lived my life with this secret inside of me. Times got busy so I visited less often. Without realizing that it had been so long, I went there. It was dusty, dirty. I cleaned as best I could. In the end, all I uncovered was something I used to be but no longer was. Keeping the secret room to myself ruined it. The vibrancy dissipated. The excitement, the love carried away with the tide. It was just a room.
The loss crushed me, surprisingly. Waves of guilt at neglecting something so important and precious were ignored. When I finally numbed myself, I resumed the busy times.
Uncounted months or years later, without realizing where I was, I found myself peering into the window of that room that used to be mine alone. Two people were inside laughing as they cooked. The sight of the mixing bowls on the crowded table and pans on the stove pushing out steam ripped like a jagged knife at my intestines. My chest was on fire.
In the breeze of a moment, I relived the finding, living, and dying of that secret room.
As hard as I try, nothing has dulled the memory.