In the center of the kitchen table is a lazy Susan.
On the lazy Susan is an arrangement of flowers from my husband, an arrangement of flowers for our anniversary.
This writing that I’m doing falls on a page that already holds the criss-cross shadows of those flowers. I don’t have on my glasses, but I can tell the shadows of those flowers fall artistically. Yes, I can easily see the dark and the light. I have no problem there.
Where I have a problem is more in the gray areas, you know, the ones that are neither light nor dark. The ones that are somewhere in between, where the light and the dark become brothers, or mothers, or lovers, or unclarified butter, or clabbered milk, or sea foam and sand, or vomit—gross, lumpy homogenized vomit.
My hand, in its long, cursive want to write, floats to the top of the second page and scoots under the shadows of the flowers my husband bought for our anniversary.
I think how he didn’t have to do this thing, this ordering of the flowers, this picking up the phone and dialing and answering and placing the order and telling the words for the card and hanging up and hoping the arrangement would be fine, just fine.
He didn’t have to invest, but he did, and as I write on down this second page, the words emerge again, out of the shadows. Bit by bit, they progress into the lighter light, where the effort becomes difficult, even after thirty years of stringent practice, to ignore the actions of my gentle and beloved husband.
Jan Parker's work, Hard Times and Happenstance won First Place Novella and gained publication in the 2009 Press 53 Open Awards Anthology.
Visit www.writerjanbparker.com to learn more.