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: