I take the pills in a withered hand. It shakes. Not from fear though. It hasn’t stopped since the day you passed. The flask-warmed tea tastes bitter as the pills dissolve within it. The two curdle together in my mouth. Not long now. Or so I hope.
A hole in the moth-eaten tweed draws my brittle fingers toward it. Purple snake-veins protrude from the wrinkled milky waste. I attempt to mask the hole from…from whom? Is there anybody left to even notice and, if they did, to care.
Your duck is still here. He looks unsure of whether to take the crumbs that I throw towards him. Perhaps they were sweeter coming from you. But then again everything was sweeter coming from you. The ground that I walk upon is now worth more than everything and everyone that walks upon it, because you rest within it.
All the ducks seem less eager for sustenance without your presence. For them, the very act of eating has lost all joy, point or purpose. They merely wade aimlessly. The sky above is a dirty blue and the sun stifles the inside of my collar.
The clouds come down upon me all at once. The colours fade to a pureness of white. I see your face. You smile as I reach out to wipe the joyous tear from your cheek.
Huddled in the doorway, Jane’s eyes glance across the street towards me, as –
‘How can you say you’ve never had a girlfriend?’ she said, that first morning as she rolled over onto her side. She ran her fingers across my chest making little circles.
‘I just haven’t. You know the way girls are –’
‘What does that mean?’ She playfully gripped my chest hairs.
I must have drifted off because as my vision focused her soft blue eyes were searching mine.
‘Where did you go?’
‘They just can’t be…nobody can be trusted.’ I wriggled free and walked towards the bathroom. She slid between me and the door; her smile now distant.
‘I can.’ She whispered as she pressed her lips against mine.
– she pushes him away from her embrace.
A large crucifix hangs at the back of the stage. A long wooden bench stretches across the stage. A simple alter stands between the bench & the crucifix. A priest enters. He is a crouched-over old man with short, balding white hair and big Coke-Bottle glasses. He walks across the stage, blesses himself, genuflects and then sits on the bench facing the crucifix.
PRIEST: Good evening my Lord. I hope this day finds you well indeed like all the others.
[Takes out a napkin and wipes some sweat from his brow.]
PRIEST: This hot weather is not for the old I fear. It creeps into the blood and seems to accumulate there. It’s days like these that you miss those blissful days of youth. Those days when one could embrace the warmth in one’s heart without being overwhelmed by it. Ah, but sure those days are long gone from us now.
[His face curls into a boyish smile, and he supresses a giggle]
PRIEST: Mind you, the past did catch up to me today, all told. Well not so much ‘caught up’ more like found me again. I –
[A creak is heard, not unlike a door opening. PRIEST looks around checking for people.]