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Empty room Blues…

The cat across the street, by the rusty old Chevy with a flat tire, sat looking at a leaf tumbling about in the chilly autumn breeze. At times the feline jerked slightly as if about to jump at the leaf, to relieve it of its suffering. As if to kill its prey. It did nothing, though. It kept sitting there gazing at the leaf rolling hither and dither. Maybe due to it being a somewhat elderly cat, or was it too domesticated to follow its ancient instincts and kill to survive?
I really can’t say. Anyway it was a welcome distraction for Ed Watford, middle aged man dressed in his favourite pajama sitting by the kitchen window with his morning coffee. “Silly cat, you sit there every morning of the week looking at a leaf or a twig or a piece of some paper tumbling by in the wind. DO something you chubby old wreck!” Ed shook his head and groaned while raising the cup for a sip. When he heard his wife, Beth, stirring in the bedroom he saw himself reflected in the window and thought ‘who am I trying to fool.’ He looked at the cat again, then at the open door to Beth’s bedroom, and said silently “yup, that’s right, that’s us, that cat. Chasing illusions and going nowhere.”
The marriage had been dying for years. When did it stop being a relation and turn into a habit? He had no idea, the radio aired something about the upcoming election. “Aah” he thought, “the usual suspects and the same old joke on our expense…”
Suddenly the air was filled with the sound of cars running by and tires squealing. The sirens indicated that the local police force were in a hurry. Ed looked out the window at what seemed more like an episode of Dalziel & Pascoe than the view from 137 Larned Road. “Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. Oh dear.” Ed Watford was upset. “Ed, what is that noise?” Beth’s voice was a bit shaky. Maybe even irritated. Yes. It was definitely irritated. “Don’t worry love, you go back to sleep.” Ed wanted to sound calm and reassuring. His words were void of feeling. Like bank statements, they contained a message, but a dead message. Beth had long ago gotten used to that emptiness in his voice. She used to wonder why it was that his words and his voice didn’t say the same thing. She used to wonder what she had done. She had stopped wondering when she looked into his eyes when he called her ‘love’. They were just as dead as his voice. She didn’t even have to ask. She knew where once there was love, there was now nothing. Where there used to be warmth, now a cold wind from an empty room that used to be warm and filled with affection chilled her inner self.
They were like two old actors doing the same old charade day after day.
“Just some police matter, I reckon we shall hear something on the wireless, don’t worry.”
And so yet another morning passed. Ed and Beth Watford went on to do whatever it is middle aged couples fallen out of love since long do with their lives, and a cat sat across the road looking at things passing by, without even trying to do anything about it anymore.

Filed under life divorce sorrow