Sunday, September 7, 2008

melancholy baby

"i don't understand the language. i just don't get it."
"yeah...well thi sis something that you're going to have to understand. you gotta go back in and read it-"
"i have been reading it and i don't understand it. thats what i'm saying."
he contemplates this admission and says that he will help her
"we gotta move on this-"
"i know, dad. i know. i'm very worried about it."
it is no longer an admission but more of a concealed question: can you please not make this any worse than it already is?"
"well you don't have to be worried about it."
she laughs. the absurdity of it all.
their dialogues like carousels
their rhythms like a scratched record going back and forth on an old turntable
always hopeful that they have finally reached the chorus and then the song repeats itself from the beginning.
"sweetie, this is something we can win. so don't worry about it. i'll read it and call you tonight."
they tell each other they love each other and hang up the phone.
she sits for a second letting the echo of the last few words sink in.
the painful absence of connection fills the room
the words pass, drowned out by the cicadas and crikets and what must be two mating beetles
her body gets warm as the tears move like a tidal wave through her body but the floodgates go up and the computer goes on and something about it feels old fashioned
he comes in the room and asks how it went
he hugs her but she tells him don't make me cry
she is tired of the dramatics.
and for tonight she is tired of herself and her melancholy woes.

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