Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Aaron sat at the back of the Church studying the various decorations and structures that made up the hall. He noticed that it resembled everything in a dream he’d long since forced himself to forget; the moldings, the filtered light creeping in through dirty stained glass, the smell of the pews and dusty bibles tucked into the backs of the rows in front of him. Even the guests were the same (save his parents), bride too! Except for the groom- the groom would have stood to his left, not to his right- marrying his fucking ex!
Watching her, Aaron hoped she was thinking about him- sitting there quietly at the back of the church- but it didn’t look like it. Eva looked happy, but not in the way they were during the good years. She looked happy in a way that was so different from an way he’d known her to be that it seemed forced; it probably was… After all she always wanted to marry him, not Tom.
Either way, it was too late now; no last minute pardons or reprieves could mend a shattered heart. And even if it could, their love would have only been marred by the hurt he caused her and the hypocrisy that he’d never pulled his head out of his ass and asked her to marry him before she walked away.
Seeing her now at the alter- realizing her dream- crushed Aaron’s heart. Not just because he was never able to see the beauty of this moment for himself, (much less give it to her) but that she had to settle for someone else to get it; in a way, he felt like he’d ruined her wedding in that respect.
Tragically, he knew only after she left how foolish he’d been. His selfish desires to taste the flesh of other women would last no more than a month of deprecating debauchery resulting in a deep dissatisfaction that now made him nauseous. Digging into his memory he realized that the look on her face as she slammed the door was actually that of disappointment and not anger, and that the marriage she wanted was not “only about Eva” (he'd say in heated arguments) but that it was her love for him- her wanting him forever that he’d squandered away.
It was all so confusing; he’d gotten his freedom and she got her wedding. But sadly the underlying gravity of that outcome now cruelly exposed the low yields on what seemed like such attractive investments for what they were: shit. Whereas Aaron’s sexual freedom ultimately lasted but a month before it all ended (privately) in hot-sex-smelling-tears while in the arms of an unrequited-high-school-lover (naked as the day he was born and sobbing just as pitifully): Eva’s loss was written (quite publically) all over her face at the alter (shoving the words “I do” out of her mouth).
It became clear to Aaron as he watched Eva marry his best friend Tom, that neither she nor he had gained so much as a heartbeat of joy or additional fulfillment in the short months since she finally called his bluff and walked. He’d always thought that she was lucky to have him but failed to actually imagine a life without her; he had nothing to say now as he had nothing to say that day when she walked out.
* * *
The groom kissed the bride and Aaron and Eva’s story became just a memory. Eva walked down the aisle with a curious and tearful smile and conspicuously past Aaron without so much as looking at him. Soon she was gone and he would still be there; Aaron could not bring himself to feel joy (though he tried to join the chorus of well wishers with an empty smile and hollow clapping). There was no joy; not for him, and not for her. They had both lost out in the end despite their small victories and Aaron had only himself to blame.
Monday, February 25, 2008
The sound of tap water running over dishes and the soft tanning of a scrub brush against china soothed him; the texture of this particular sound massaged his ears in a way that he liked. Dan always managed to make sure the television was off after dinner and that the music was low enough that he would be able to hear Isabelle doing the dishes.
Leaning back in his chair he glanced down at his belly that now pushed out towards the air; quarreling with his belt. He sighed deeply and swished the last sip of red wine around the inside walls of his glass methodically. The effect was soothing- hypnotic even. This ritual always ended the same way: he aired out the last sip then, drawing the glass towards his nose, breathed in the wine; judging its aromas. He’d try to pick out the notes he hadn’t already read about on the back of the bottle at the liquor store just hours before.
Looking out the window and up over the neighbors indifferent red brick wall, he could see the moon; the shadow of the earth now biting into the cheek of its blue face. He imagined what the earth must look like from its powdery surface; how quiet life must be on the moon, and if he’d miss the casserole of street noise that cluttered his small apartment most evenings. He wondered how and event so simple and not particularly interesting (other than its scarcity) could catch peoples attention so fiercely; and now his.
"Babe, look; out the window.” He said pointing out the window. Isabelle turned from the sink, dried her wet hands on a hand towel and walked over to him. She sat down on his lap draping an arm over his shoulder and around his neck and kissed him on the lips, pulled back and kissed him twice more. Only then did she turn her head to look at the eclipse.
Her mouth opened, as if to comment, then closed; her eyes widened. Dan was still looking at the umbra of shorter-softer hair which grew at the edge of her hair line behind her ear. He leaned in and kissed that same part of her neck. Isabelle, still staring at the moon (now just a little smaller) slowly turned to look at Dan; her eyes still focused on the moon as if to drink up every last drop of it’s light. Finally breaking with the satellite she looked at him, still sitting on his lap. Smiling she confessed:
“It’s so beautiful!... I love you.”
Dan looked at her, wondering whether it was the peculiar light hanging in the sky or the sea-swaying gravity of its mass that pulled the thought from her head, the blood from her heart and the words from her mouth; but this was the first time she had said those words and he hoped it wouldn’t be the last.
“I love you too.”
“Good!” she said grinning “Let’s go for a walk, it’s gorgeous outside!”
She skipped down the hall to grab her coat and scarf. Dan downed the dregs of his wine and peeked out the window one last time. Alone, he raised his empty glass to the moon; it’s red hue now glowing through the empty chalice: