Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Alphabet Exercise

All along, she knew that he was ready to burst.  Before she could do anything about it, he had taken his things and left.  Could she have known that, she would have locked his door.  During his long months in therapy, he never seemed to change or open up.  Even though the doctor said he was making progress, she could only see the circles growing under his eyes. 
Finding out later that he had taken a boat to Europe made her anguish both better and worse.  Getting the news that he was doing his own thing, finally taking charge, was wonderful.  Having to realize that he never wanted to see her again, was awful.  Instead of being able to be happy for him, she decided she must follow.  Just in case he wouldn't be able to see her without blowing up, she donned a disguise.  Kindly old gentlemen, she recalled, had always made him grin: their shaky legs slowly taking their wisdom from place to place.
Leaving behind all that she had known, she flies after him, occasionally scratching at her itchy new beard.  More than once did she think she saw some knowing, amused faces staring at her.  No one could really figure it out, she reasoned, but that didn't make her any more comfortable. 
 Opening her nose to her new location once she stepped out of the airport, she discovered that this scent felt like home.  Protecting the newly acquired identity, she joyfully hobbled along the cobblestone streets.  Quietly muttering her thoughts to herself about how silly the whole thing was, she bumped into a tall stranger.  Resisting the impulse to wrap her now-old arms around the first human contact she'd felt in long while, she looked up to bestow a kindly apology to the man.  Strangely enough, this was another old man whom she had walked into, and she could see faint signs of his beard wisps hanging off of his face at quite unnatural angles.  Though she knew the chances, she ventured a guess.  Using the cane as support, she looked up at a steep angle into those eyes surrounded by wrinkles.  
"Vernon?"  While she watched the shock on his face reverberate through his fake wrinkles, hers crinkled and started jiggling with laughter.  "Xerosis got you already; I can see it's so bad that your beard is coming off."   
Young in heart, as in actual years, they laughed together, staying more or less in each other's company for years, as their new, wrinkled selves.  Zinging each other, they would sit in parks, chuckling at the young kids and the foolishness they got into.

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