Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.

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Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Discerning Eye (Continued)

We walk around the block. The apartments are all jammed up against one another, postcard quaint. Strings of lights wink from windows, red, blue, yellow, green.

Neither of us speaks, but the silence is not an easy one. I cannot think of a thing to say, and am reminded of the final days with Matthew. Achingly empty meals where safe topics eluded me. Entire days without speech. Daniel shambles along beside me, oblivious, perhaps not as recovered as I'd thought.

"Richard is having a big New Year's Eve Party," Daniel says into the stillness. "I thought maybe we could go."

New Year's Eve. Such a vile night. People collecting in a freezing crush to watch a mirror ball's descent, narrated by a personage possible only in America. Too much liquor, impossible promises, hopes of crystalline fragility. All heightened by world-ending prophecies, by the stoppage of banks and telephone service and whatever else the computer geniuses of the world forgot to program. I feel far from myself, from my hard-won routine. There isn't enough space in the back of my mind for new paintings to form, paintings that need time and quiet. "I'll think about it," I say, lying, wanting to keep the peace until we are home again. I've never lied to him before.

We turn back to the house, where he stretches out on the bed and is soon asleep. The fading daylight settles around us.

continued

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