Sunday Stories: Sour Sixteen
It made me feel the pain all over again. To be a shadow in the company of men is not even to be a sentence without a proper verb form. He is as I was: a latecomer. Coming late only comes into its strength late in life. Early on it is just falling short. It may well have been the last time he really cried. That is as it still should be. Tears should form as condensation on the inside of the skull to form the bitter taste of tacit condescension. And then one starts to read.
The cat may be dead as well. It all blows over, chilly, until it is over and he turns to cool. Don’t we want our kids to be as cool as we never were? Cool enough to have ignored us when we were the kids who still cried and moved frantically when moved. She may well have frozen to death. The nights are cold after all. She was getting old.
He wanted to be alone because he felt alone. We heard him climbing the stairs passing our door. Then there was a silence, then he knocked. Come in, I said. He was already crying. Come here, I said. He curled up on the bed in which we have sex. He had the shivers. We talked. Well, I talked, because he did all of the knocking. There was a lot of effort in that knocking. After a long while he stopped crying. We went downstairs. After a short while there he started laughing.
The misery of being there without being noticed. Like a cat freezing to death. He tried he said but the gap was already too wide. His friends who were not his friends were already facing the next gaps. He was late to the party and too partial to be on the look-out for other venues and locations. His bad as well as theirs he knows now or thinks he knows as there is not a thing to be known in matters of social conduct.
I went back to sleep and they to sleeplessness. He’ll bounce back the way he came back to knock.
The cat is back. Life goes on.
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