Saturday, July 23, 2011

In the Still of the Night

She walked across the bedroom to the back window to adjust the blinds. She fingered the rod that should have closed the louvers but they didn't respond to the action. She ran her hand from top to bottom of the shutters, hoping to darken the room. When she'd done all she could, she returned to the wall switch, turned the ceiling fan on and the light off.
Despite her attempt to shut out the full moon light, it managed to slip in and it lay on the bed in shadowy patterns. She turned her back to the window and attempted to find some rest from the busy day.  The night was against her and it took her a good, long time to finally fall asleep. Her husband found his way to lie beside her an hour or so later.
The air was stifling, regardless of the slight breeze offered by what the woman called 'the plane propeller' on the ceiling. She hated that thing but had to admit that it was better to have the fan at work than not to.  At four in the morning she woke to see her husband putting on his clean Tshirt and a pair of shorts. She asked him  where he was going in the middle of the night. He answered that he was going to the front porch for  a smoke. He couldn't sleep, and she hadn't slept well either.  A moment later, she  wandered to the porch and took a seat in the rocking chair next to her husband.

There they sat for some time, in the lights that glared from the neighbors garage wall across the street.  They rocked quietly, each in a semi-sleep, listening to the multi-layered chorus of the insects. She remarked that she could hear at least five different bug songs, their pitch being slightly higher or lower than the others.  The old man couldn't differentiate between the notes that each individual bug put forth. Viet Nam, and later machinery, had caused his hearing to deteriorate some.  She felt badly for him, that he couldn't enjoy the sounds as she was doing.

Six miles in the distance there was a hum of the Interstate. Normally they couldn't hear it, but that morning, in the otherwise stillness, she could sort the sound of the light traffic from the singing insects and the neighbors air conditioner.  She sat there, with her eyes closed, until she felt  sleep was closing in on her. She pulled herself to her feet as the first neighborhood vehicle fired up it's diesel engine, ready to start the day.  She told her lifetime mate that she was returning to bed.

He put out his cigarette and stood up, ready to follow.  He opened the door, and together they went to the bed they'd shared for so long. He brushed her lips with his kiss, she slid her hand beneath his larger one, and felt the ring she'd put on his finger such a long time ago. Together they found sleep in the comfort of knowing each was there.

2 comments:

  1. Beautifully written! What a blessing that you two have each other. :):)

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