Monday, August 22, 2016

On the porch

To set the stage, I have to be a bit honest and a little unnerving. Allow me some salaciousness; it's the only way I know how to soften myself for inevitable vulnerability.

So, you see, we were basking languorously during a post-coital morning when a car drives up our driveway. Not too unusual, since sometimes guests arrive at our landlady's home. But unusual when they park at our cabin, unusual when they come up our deck, come up to our door, and knock.

I had no idea who. I had little time to ignore them and little time to dress. But I did. I climbed down from the loft. I crossed to the door. I opened the door.

"Oh, wow. Hello?"

"Hello."

I extended out my hand to him reflexively. He shook it automatically. I will tell you, because you were not there, that I had dressed so hurriedly I hadn't had time to wash my hand. I was still conscious, as I'm sure you are conscious of such things in ways you don't quite talk about except intimately and even then curiously, of the love we had just shared above.

"Is Colleen in?"

"Yes, but she's upstairs, resting. Why—is, is everything alright?"

"Yes, it's alright. Can I speak to her?"

I hesitated, longer than I should, but I knew the answer was no. I didn't know a diplomatic way of saying that.

"I drove all this way to speak to her. Charles, I'm at a loss. Her grandmother and I, we just want to know what's going on. She won't answer our calls. She won't respond to our messages."

I nodded.

"Can I just speak with her and ask for her forgiveness?"

"Okay, hold on."

I already knew the answer. I already knew how this needed to play. I didn't know how to say it all. I reverted to indecision, which is not indifference nor thoughtful. It's the part of me that's the Pilate in any of us who knows better. I know justice. I know it's hard. I know people should deal with things openly. I also know I was weak, tired, confused, and in shock.

I closed the door, half-climbed the ladder to our loft. She looked at me, finding her underwear and shaking her head. We talked with short clips, eyes and shoulders and chin saying more than words. I will do the hard thing, I decided after looking at her and talk to him.

. . .

He is no longer here. He died recently. He is at a loss.

What I was going to write, but never came back to finish:

1. Forgiveness
2. Steps taken.
3. The letter for the letter.
4. Listening
5. Listen

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Is this wise?
Is this yours?
Is this love?

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