Saturday, July 31, 2010

Broken Glass.

Broken Glass.

“Broken glass in the morning and broken hearts in the evening.” Steven King.

You can think of a thousand reasons not to be with someone and the truth is you only need one. 

Wars are started by one thing. They can claim that a handful of broken directives led up to a separation in policies or state. Although it really only takes one.

One fatal flaw. Logical or Illogical. It doesn’t really matter what it is. Only that it’s the one thing. The last straw.

As I stand here listening to him spout out all these reasons he doesn’t need to stay, I keep wondering if it was about this morning. This morning when it was my fault. Somehow it always is. Maybe it was this time? Somewhere in the back of my mind I begin to question if I did it on purpose.

A slip of the hand. It could have been a mistake. But it maybe wasn’t. A tumble of the glass. Wet fingers can slip. But what if that’s not what happened. Down, down, down. Glass hitting the tip of the basin. The sound of shattering sends a message of instant silence. Gravity to blame for the tiny little pieces of broken glass across the basin and upon the tile. Or the blame could be elsewhere? Blaming gravity for this mistake when it may not be solely at fault.

To hear him yell this way makes me uncertain if I didn’t mean to do it. He doesn’t believe me and can’t stop the blame. Tells me I’m clumsy. Not to mention ridiculous. He says this wouldn’t have happened if I would have waited until he left the bathroom. I didn’t know we were supposed to take turns. I’m now a child in the corner with a lecture that resembles a scolding.

Six years drinking from the same glass, never once a spill or miss with the liquid. Not a chip or crack until today when it fell. Then he fell. As if it were slow motion and replayed, my mind can visualize the instant when it happened. Unable to stop it from happening; a spectator in my own home, standing within a foot of participating.

Carelessly my arm grazed the tip of the glass sending it over the edge. The glass splintered into a several large pieces and thousands of tiny shards. Sound breaking the calm atmosphere of silence and creating an even bigger silence when it fell. Perhaps it wasn’t careless. My grasping arms reaching for the tumbling glass and connecting with his falling hand.
So very quickly his movements shifted to compensate. Possibly allowing me to be in harms way instead of him. Arms tucked in as his legs shifted weight to shuffle over. Feet scrambling to step aside. Avoiding the broken glass like a dance that mimics the one to avoid conversations. A dance that misses the movements of the hands. The quickness did nothing to cover the mistake. No hands reaching to grab. No words to give a warning.

Slight of the razor. Connection pushes hand away. Blood spills like a light syrup mixing with water upon the floor. Brawny and clumsy hands fumble to grab the open wound. Tiny drops of crimson rain staining the tile. Like a lost navigator frantically gripping an out of control helm. Nothing can stop the outpouring of life. There’s more stumbling and now slipping in the red watery mess.

There are thirteen stitches across his neck and thirteen excuses that have come out of his mouth. One by one. I can see each tiny detail etch up and around like a collar only tattooed into his skin. The louder his voice raises the harder I try not to listen. I’ve already heard these excuses. Unnecessary details that continue to pour out, over and over again. He doesn’t need to repeat himself.

I can’t recall a time where he’d ever cut himself. With the skills of surgeon he handled the straight razor. Always exact strokes along the neckline and back up to the jaw. Up, around and down his face. Stiff firm strokes around the base of his chin and around his mouth. As if perfection he could never miss.

And he always hated the way I watched him shave. I always hated how he bitched at me when I did it. Now we both have an answer to the problem. He won’t have to worry about me watching him anymore. As soon as he’s finished yelling and making excuses this will all be over with.

I wonder what his family will think about this. Or what his mother will say when I have to see her. Maybe I’d tell her at the holidays when she’d remark about the color of my hair. Right now it’s a little red, more like a chocolate brown. The blood in the sink doesn’t seem to matter when you’re looking at all the pieces of red chocolate brown hair that has fallen out. Fallen into the basin splattered with streaks of red and white shaving cream. Noticeably questioning if you’re experiencing premature hair loss as the blood thickens and darkens.

The family won’t notice if I have a bald spot. Not like they’ll notice the scar on his neck. His mother will ask why he stayed. Or perhaps imply that I’m reckless or abusive. She already thinks that my phone voice is the equivalent to nails across a chalkboard. As a mother she will continue to push that he deserves better than me. Maybe he does. But she will never ask what really happened. I’m pretty sure it was an accident. But she will just assume.

The sound in his voice hesitates and calms. But he isn’t done. This isn’t over. I’ve embarrassed him. He doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea. It doesn’t matter what anyone else really thinks. It’s too late. He already has. I’m the one to blame. It’s cut and dry. I’m the bad guy. The person who shot another without even holding a gun.

I wonder what paramedics will think when they come and find us this way. Will they know it was an accident? Or will they think I slit his throat because we had a fight. The kind of fight that erupts in the bathroom while I’m brushing my teeth and he’s shaving. An unprecedented fight. The kind that leaves him wide-eyed and spread legged, wearing only a bath towel around his waist as he bleeds out onto the porcelain floor.

It seems like a further imposition to wonder, but I can not help it. Wondering if this is what was supposed to happen. There are many things they will not know when they arrive. Like, there was a tiny scar on his neck where the hole is spread open. It would not be noticeable any more. But that isn’t something they would find helpful. They will not know it was an accident. Or that it was his arm that forced mine to miss the glass. They will make assumptions when they arrive. Looking at the body on the floor in the middle of the glass surrounded by the blood will they think perhaps I pushed him and broken the glass in my haste.

As he yells at me I follow the lines on his bloodstained hands. The hospital bracelet wears around his wrist like a plastic tie on a bag of trash. It’s a trinket of disposability. A mere reminder of the morning event that is easily discarded after the fact. But that won’t change the memory. Even as he paces back and forth with a thousand reasons I can’t shake the feeling the morning is the last reason. This throwaway moment that changes everything even though he says it’s not.

I can remember looking at him resting on the floor with his eyes wide open, his long hair disheveled and his hand wrapped loosely around the open wound. His breathing like that of a fish out of water. Open. Close. Straining for any gasp of oxygen. Even as I watched him, I could only wonder if there’s another glass in the front pantry. Replaceable.

Wondering if being able to replace everything like a broken light bulb would make it any easier? Could any of this be easier if I could change the moment? Out the door accompanied by two bags he leaves with the last of the sounds. This moment lingers like words on the tip of the tongue. Those final irreplaceable things. All those reasons that he didn’t need to say when he only needed one. One last straw. A slip of the hand and break of the heart. An irreversible mistake that has left me here to wonder about things of no consequence.

Broken glass. Revision. There's some photo things that were to go up in tandem with this revision, but in true form that is broken. A lot of things broke this year... including my camera. tossing between the phone and other sources has been fun. someone lent me their's. it was a nice gesture. still not the same. anyhow, this is the revision. Um, um um. What comes next right now? Amidst a few things, but that rarely dictates the next direction. Been really feeling comfortable with the older works in addition to the new experimentations in form and wanting to take that darker for a challenge. for tonight... please enjoy the story. enjoy the night. ENJOY. m.

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