He never understood the politics of the situation or, at least, he wasn’t willing to accept them. One omnipotent ruler watched over his moves, his neighbour’s moves, the moves of everybody that surrounded him and toiled as he did. It was no democracy.
Who elected this man God?
She was gone and he could picture no future in which she would come back. The rear wheels of the pickup truck that she had driven away from him had kicked up a cloud of dust that was still settling. The sun slipped suddenly but silently behind the gentle slope that peaked behind his house as the last of the dust gently landed and rejoined the driveway from which it had been stirred. Life under the sun continued on the far side of the mountain but here on his side of the mountain the sun had set on him and him alone.
He had been fighting for some time to avoid becoming an alcoholic but it was a losing battle in the hour between dinner and sunset. Condensation was forming on the side of the wine glass and he watched it with intensity.
The heat was dry but unrelenting. Sweat forged a gentle pathway from his hairline to his eyebrow to the tip of his nose. The solitary drop hung there momentarily, suspended without support just as he had been for months. The drop finally released and fell gently to the ground after a moment that lasted three. It splashed gently on the porous brick below and evaporated immediately.
He stood and picked up the glass by the stem. The condensation was perfectly distributed around the glass, like freshly fallen snow settling on even ground.
He smashed the glass against the edge of the table and watched shards of the glass scatter – some from the force of the impact and some in the cascade of wine he had caused. He could feel blood running down his hand but his only reaction was to laugh.
He stepped forward, laughing even as he felt glass crunching below his feet. There was pain now but that meant that recovery would come next and recovery – the departure of physical pain; the pain real enough to feel – was the only bliss on which he could rely.
My phone buzzed and softly illuminated the corner of the kitchen where I had left it sitting. It would be my dad asking about the weather.
I initiated a chain reaction of muscle movement that propelled me toward the phone with a not insignificant protest from my spirit.
It was a photo from Kristie. Her lying in my bed wearing nothing but a tank top and lacy panties that were probably black but I hoped were blue. She had cropped it in a way that made me wish she hadn’t cropped it at all. This would have been her intention and thus there was no point in taking the bait.
#1 Kansas 63
#11 West Virginia 74
The last time West Virginia defeated the top-ranked team in the land was February 1983 – 17 months before I was born. This makes today’s victory a once in a lifetime (so far!) event and I’m enjoying it accordingly.
Big moments like this always make me feel connected to my home state and alma mater in a way that isn’t always available to me here in Australia.
I value such moments with my whole ‘old gold’ and blue heart.
As John Denver would say: “the radio reminds me of my home far away.”
Montani Semper Liberi.
Let’s Go Mountaineers!