Friday, February 19, 2010

The Blue Door...continued (part 5)

With each quiet step Richard took, Rebel took two. First to the hall closet were Richard stowed away his jacket and satchel. Next upstairs. Richard stopped briefly in front of the bathroom door. The shower was running. Finally down the hall to the front bedroom.

Richard opened the door and stepped inside. The air lay heavy with dust and memories.

‘Rebel, sit.’ He said quietly.

Rebel was used to this routine, but didn’t sit. Instead she let out a low and quiet wine.


Rebel walked up to Richard.

‘Good girl. Now sit.’

Rebel sat and watched Richard as he went to the windows. Richard raised the shades. First the front left, then the front right. The glass was dotted with drizzle. Outside, committed joggers and people with umbrellas went about their business while others scurried inside with newspapers or briefcases covering their heads.

Richard turned to exit the room when he noticed the green scarf, one that Marta had knit, hanging from a hook mounted on the wall. He walked over and took it into his hands. It was skinny and long. It smelled sour, like the room.


Rebel followed Richard out of the room and down the hall to the master bedroom.

Richard sat on the edge of the bed with scarf in hand, waiting for Marta. Rebel lay at the foot of the bed, head drooping over her paws.

‘You’re home early.’

Richard looked up. His eyes had been closed, his neck bent. Meditating through the time until Marta would appear. He was clutching the scarf.

‘Where did you find it?’

‘Hanging in her room.’ Richard said smiling, but only slightly. Worried that Marta would start crying, or worse, remain silent.

Marta sat on the edge of the bed and put her hand on Richard’s.

‘I remember when we found her. Hanna took her scarf off and tied it around Rebel’s neck. We told her not to, but she did it anyway. I got upset…because she was a stray…I raised my voice a little, but you put your hand on my shoulder and…so I took a deep breath…and well the next thing I know, we’re packing a stray dog into our car and Hanna can’t stop smiling.’

Leaning into her husband, Marta fell silent.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Blue Door...continued (part 4)

How can anyone concentrate? She thought.

A city helicopter had been circling overhead for the last 15 minutes. Traffic?

Marta sat at her laptop trying to formulate thoughts, but tragically the results were often highlight and delete.

Rebel lay underfoot. Occasionally Marta would take her stockinged feet and rub the dogs side. Showing her pleasure, Rebel would roll over slightly to expose her belly.

The day was winding down gently, the sun withdrawing from the front room window, receding into the late afternoon hours. Marta looked at her wristwatch. It was almost 4:30. She hadn’t accomplished a thing. Her back was sore. A headache was imminent. Richard would be home soon.

Marta rose from her desk and peered outside. Activity around the park was picking up despite the fine mist of precipitation slowly turning the sun bleached sidewalk to a muddy khaki. Joggers with iPods, groups of kids passing through on their way to a corner store, dogs on leashes and mothers taking their babies out for a stroll. She looked at her watch once more, 4:35.

The breath of activity outside was a welcomed distraction after a day spent mesmerized by static type waiting patiently behind a flashing cursor.

Her stomach had been growling for the last half hour, but she made no attempt to quiet it.

She needed a shower and glass of wine…a bottle of wine, she thought.

Marta doubled-checked the lock on the front door and powered down her laptop. If she hurried she would be out of the shower with hair dried before Richard got home.

The flood of water turning from cold to warm to hot felt good on her hand. Awareness. Another distraction. The soreness in her back was subsiding. The headache wasn’t exploding. There was just the present moment flushing beneath the surface. Her body suddenly felt less rigid. Wondering if this feeling would last, Marta exhaled. A slight shiver. She would fight to hold onto it for as long as she could.