Consequences of a Cluttered Desk
1 February 2007
The desk was cluttered to the point of absolute chaos,
a seemingly absolute zero possibility
of finding the lost note, artifact of her honesty,
of a momentary lapse of bad judgment, artifact
of her temporarily telling it like it is:
not very romantic -- telling it like it is.
I had not suspected it wouldn't last,
the change coming so quickly as to make the spin
of a car loosing control on an icy road
appear as an event happening in slow motion.
The momentary lapse morphed into mad ravings,
weaving in words a holographic image of moments
that only lived in her head until she made them live
in yours, and you would not let me turn off the lasers
that made these images into three dimensional creatures,
images of me holding her and her holding me and things
that never materialized in the world of actual flesh.
And so you waited patiently for me to come home,
met me at the door, the dark night behind my back,
the cold wind of winter in New Hampshire rushing in,
that battered professor's briefcase dangling at my side.
The words exploded with a gale force
that alone could have counteracted the wind,
forcing the door closed, leaving me frozen,
leaving me uncertain, dazed, and confused.
I tried several times to make it into a joke,
tried to get you to laugh at the absurdity,
as you followed me down the hallway to the study.
How could I do that with her? How could I?
All the same, nothing I said seemed to change your mood.
despite your having once told me you were bi-polar
and I should not be surprised at sudden mood changes.
I'd made some idiot joke about the North and South Pole.
I guess I have a tendency to joke too much,
and maybe I'm a bit too flirtatious,
but you know how I live to see smiling faces
and I did have several conversations with her
because it was so easy to get her to smile
and I said many times how good it was to see her
and even once that I'd missed her. Nevertheless,
this is only evidence of being honest
and open and, I think some would say, innocent.
You screamed for me to stop lying. Frustrating desk!
If only I could find that note:
the note written after a conversation
during which she did not smile.
I distinctly remember --
she did not smile.
It should count for something that she did not smile.
If only I could find that blasted, unsmiling note.
The note where she described her desperation,
or maybe she said depression --
It's hard to recall exactly --
and my refusal to be sympathetic,
despite having previously been so sympathetic
to her continually complaining of isolation,
and loneliness, and the despair of being her,
and some other stuff.
After having previously taken her so seriously,
I didn't really take her seriously enough,
I wondered why she called you and said those things.
Oh, here it is, I remember thinking, and smiled, and turned
just in time to see the light reflect off the blade,
the sudden, shining blurr of motion,
the sound of cloth and flesh and substance,
and, damn it . . .
© 2007, Satya J. Gabriel