November 23, 1980
Rutherford sits before me like a naked corpse; everything is revealed, flaws exposed by the harsh sunlight I usually don’t see in rush of activity. The trees reach across the street like tentacles, craving light a few days of cloudy weather had denied.
Uncollected newspapers sit in the corner of the porch in which I take refuge. It is morning, and I’m still wearing after very few hours’ sleep. I should not be here; I am an intruder here amid the early morning quiet.
A deep chill fills me despite the harsh sunlight, and I miss the electric blanket I usually sleep with at home, like a lover; I miss the warmth of the body that has lately taken its place, the soft caress before dreams possess me, and the gentle kiss when I wake.
I see her car parked at the curb down at the bottom of the stairs from where I sit, and I wonder what she will do when she finds me here – like a lost sheep she really doesn’t want to recover.
Up the street, someone rakes up old leaves, a Sunday morning ritual in this suburban-like world utterly different from the world in which I live, making me ache for that kind of life – something I suspect I may never have.
I struggle to recover all the fallen leaves of my life, each leaf a page upon which I have written chapters of my life, and which blow here and there with the will of a wind I cannot control.
Her cat, Christopher Robin, eyes me from another corner of the porch where he has dropped the remains of a squirrel he hunted down, and now offers to me proudly, a prize of his prowess.
Although this world seems peaceful with the Sunday morning air, it is not; everything is in conflict, even the birds that squawk in the near-barren limbs of trees over the street and the porch on which I sit, a squawking I’d not have noticed at any other time when the daylight weekday traffic from the nearby highway erases nature and its pains.
I’m scared that I have pushed things too far and caused too much damage to ever get back to the place where we were before all this started, the scars of petty conflicts left from a thousand small cuts inflicted, none looking too serious until you add them up and see the bleeding and realize that you can murder something with small wounds just as thoroughly as you can inflict death with one great stab in the heart.
I’m here long enough to hear this town stir, a waking beast that breathes in the new air and brings itself out of its nightly dreams to embrace the day.
Soon, she will come down from inside the house, and will discover me sitting here with her cats and her uncollected newspapers, and I will need to say something that I failed to say last night or even the night before, not just that I am sorry, but an explanation as to why I say or do what I say and do in the first place.
I keep staring at the corpse of the town and the corpse of the squirrel and wonder if this is as dead as they are.