L’esprit d’escaleier

IMG_2115The Apartment was dark, only one lightbulb above the table was lit, swinging back and forth from the winds that whooshed in from the left-open window. The storm outside was relentless, the carpet becoming soggy, the food pelted with raindrops. The steak, mash potatoes, and beans were drenched. The radio was still playing in the background. The man that lived here knocked over his beer bottle, from rage, rage that his fiancé was gone and never coming back. He made dinner, set the table, showered, and was paid back by a phone call from the love of his life, her voice almost drowned out from the rain, but clear enough to get the meaning of her message, the reason that she wasn’t coming to dinner.

I’ve Found Someone Else. 

He slammed the phone shut and threw against the wall, breaking it into halfs. His anger soon dissipated into sadness. The red couch was a welcoming embrace, an acceptable substitute for his lady’s arms. He didn’t care about the ring that he spent a fortune on that was now being flushed down a toilet at a public gas station. The radio was mostly static, serving as white noise for the now broken-hearted man. His pain was rollin over his body the static serving as the moon that brings it back and forth, back and forth. He couldn’t tell what were tears and what were raindrops. The line between dreaming and reality was thin, the line between conciseness and sleep was thick though, his body not ready to sleep, his heart racing in his chest, but his brain was shutting down, one phrase on repeat like a mantra that monks use when they meditate.  I Found Someone Else. I Found Someone Else. I Found Someone Else. I Found Someone Else. I Found Someone Else. Each syllable made the hole in his chest wider, and deeper, till it felt like he was a black hole, nothing, but gravity, pulling everything into it.

The Lady and Him were stopping at a rest stop. She was in the bedroom when she read the writing on one of the stall walls. Why did he leave me? What did I do Wrong? I love YOU! She stopped reading the writing on the stall wall. He was waiting for her. Taking her to a better place. But she had to write something. She used her fingernail to carve He’ll take me to a better place.

The radio was still on when the man sat up again. It was still raining, but there was grey light coming in from the window, illuminating the damage done by the rain. Even though he was sitting gin the same apartment he has lived in for years, he felt like he was in a strangers house, an unwelcome guest. Orienting himself in a different way. The IKEA furniture was the same furniture, but instead of happy memories engraved into the wood and plastic, memories that brought the searing pain in his chest back. He was starting to go crazy in the Apartment, so he ran out, leaving the door open.

The Park was his destination, whether his feet or brain decided he knew not. He only knew that when he looked up, he was standing on the hill in the middle of the nearby park, the same hill that the man and lady shared their first kiss together. The man could see her next to him. She was wearing a chiffon dress with a pink flowers on it. A beige cardigan covered her exposed shoulder, and she wore a wide-brim- stray hat with a pink ribbon weaved into it.

“I had a really fun time today.”

“Me too.”

“I guess I’ll see you later?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

The man tore himself out of the memory and walked far away from the park to the train station. His card was in the pockets of his jeans. he swiped it through and took the train that was about to leave. He squeezed himself into the car and grabbed the hand rail. The train was crowed, but he found it calming and soaked up the sound of everyone breathing and the tapping of their fingertips on cellphones, and the ratting of the train and his own heartbeat. For a few seconds he was peaceful, but then he saw her sitting across from him, and he remembered the first time she stayed over, the first time that they went grocery shopping together, the-first-time for everything.

The Car was speeding along the interstate, creating as much distance between the Apartment, and the Lady. She was crying, her tears falling down with the Rain. She kept on looking at her left ring finger, where it should be. The man beside her grabbed her hand. She looked up at him and she knew that this was exactly what she wanted, her phone in her other hand ready to make the call, when she was ready. 

He finally got off the train when the sky was dark. It wasn’t raining any more, but it was still damp. The train stop he got off of was in the middle of no where, along the interstate. But he kept on walking, trying ti numb the pain in his chest, trying to forget that she isn’t crazy with worry, or will be waiting for him when he gets home, if he goes home. The bike path next to the interstate was more calming and didn’t hold any memories of her. A rest stop came up on his right. He had to relive himself so he stumbled into the closest bathroom. He soon discovered, that it was the women’s bathroom, but he didn’t care. He was in the stall when he was reading the writing when something caught his eye. It was writing carved into the stall, it didn’t look like it was done heavily, just with a fingernail. He’ll take me to a better place. He knew it could’ve been anyone, but at that moment, it was from her.

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