Fragment #13 – 5 July 2014

A Certain Lack of Sentimentality Pervades

He waves for a long time as the two black cars exit the driveway and disappear behind a bend in the road.  He is exhausted but pleased that they have finally, at long last, left, and for the first time in several weeks he feels something approaching a sensation of peace.  He walks slowly back inside to his austere quarters, so at odds with the showy opulence of the main hallway and its adjoining rooms, and comes to the decision that today, for the first time in several years, he will eschew his ordinary routine of an afternoon swim and meditation by the wooden peer just outside his home, and will instead explore the attic for the first time since his wife died.

The shadowy corners of the attic are laced with spiderwebs, and here and there rotting lumps of plaster have fallen on to boxes and furniture, scattering cracked slivers of white against the floorboards and in between cracks. The sensation he feels as he opens one of the dark wooden chests and discovers the folded yellowed material of his wife’s white wedding dress is indescribable to himself but nonetheless overwhelming in its intensity.  A hard immovable lump forms in his throat as tears blur his vision and then with a lurch, he staggers backward, clutching at his heart and struggling to remain standing.  It is too much for him, too foolish after spending a month with his in-laws and his children, and for a brief moment he is certain his heart will stop, or perhaps, has stopped, and he smiles while falling, happy at the thought of being dead.

But he doesn’t die, and his heart beats on.  He is not old, or weak, or even ill.  His heart is in fact stubbornly healthy, though, thankfully, it remains able to be momentarily shocked.

* * *

The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website.  I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.

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