Thursday, September 29, 2011

ring cycle: exodus

In the end, you have to go home and so I drove, in the dark, with the radio off dreading the moment when I'd see the house. Maybe, I thought, they'd still be there: another delay. I imagined the dog at the door then my son shrieking my name: one more day.

I did not imagine some sort of magical reconciliation. I did not think that at the last she'd chicken out and decide to try and convince me there was anything left to save. Just one more day where things had been how they had been. You can get used to anything, even the uncomfortable awkwardness of finding scraps of paper around the house; little hearts drawn with your wife's name and another (not yours) in the center.

Going home was like visiting the morgue. The lights were off. The driveway was empty. Nothing moved in the windows, not the flickering blue light of the television, not any pet or child. Opening the door was peeling back the sheet from a body, to see what was left after an accident, what could be recognized.

Of course, everything and nothing was still there. It felt as if the life had gone out of the place.

Eventually, the cats came bounding in, waiting to be fed and I surveyed the house. I turned off lights, threw out trash and found a little for the animals to eat. I turned the television on for noise and when I grew tired of it, went to sleep.

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