Sunday, May 16, 2010


She sits, for there is little else she has the energy for, as it is enough to keep the thin fingers in place to hide her face from the sun. It still peeks through, too weak to scatter the dust in the folds of a skin thin as tissue paper. Her eyes can still make use of the light, but it seems dimmer every day.
The light has faded many things around her as much as inside her, she feels. Fortunate, perhaps, that the photographs do not fade as quickly as the memories do, the increasingly sepia tone of the black-and-white glossies holding time as it once was, when it was at its happiest and on her side. She rubs at her ring finger, touching sterling silver but not feeling its presence so much as a void. Absent thoughts of a husband now absent before his time (and before hers) bring the wayward hand back to its place over her face. It becomes as difficult to remember him as to realize she's forgetting him more and more each day as the sun fades this too into mere background noise.
Here there's background noise enough-- the scuttles and ruminations of undersexed and underappreciated widows who comprise the home's backgammon clique. Even if she cared to remember their names, she can't bring herself to remember more than the long-ago past that evanesces into the fade with disconcerting haste. Visitations from dwindling relatives offer brief warmth, though it seems too much a sort of mutual humoring, smiles and handshakes held up to still their fear of sharing her fate. So she sits, sleeping and thinking of that end sometimes longed for. Or at the least, a dream that will linger upon waking.

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