Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Blue Door...continued (part 15)

“I hope the lock doesn’t give us any trouble.” Richard said.

Marta stood behind Richard. Rebel stood behind Marta.

Richard inserted the key and opened the door. “And the A/C’s…we’ll need to clean all of the filters before we turn them on.”

Marta hinged the screen door open. Rebel followed Richard inside.

“I’ll start bringing things from the car.” Marta yelled over her shoulder while skipping down the steps.

Rebel followed Richard down the hall to the back of the house.

The air was musty, but nothing some open windows couldn’t fix. Everything was just as they had left it. Clean, but slightly dusty from neglect.

“Thirsty, girl?”

Richard spotted Rebel’s water bowl strewn in a corner just inside the kitchen entrance. He picked it up, rinsed it, filled it, and set it back down.

“Here you go.” Richard set the bowl back into the corner. Rebel lapped at the water with hesitation.

Richard cleared his throat. Let’s get some of these windows open, he said to himself.

Marta set the last of the bags inside the front door and pulled the screen door closed. Quietly she surveyed things.

Nothing’s changed, she thought.

“Just a layer of dust, but everything seems to be just as we left it.” She said to Richard as he brushed by her. A deliberate brush, she noted.

“I’m opening all of the windows.” He said while pushing the curtains off to the side and pulling the chord to the blinds.

“Are the sills a mess?” Marta asked. Her eyes transfixed on the empty wall of shelves flanking the other end of the room.

“They are a mess. Dead bugs. Dust. These little details are going to take us days to clean up.” He said agitated.

“Don’t get agitated. I’ll take care of the inside if you take care of the outside.” She said.

“I’m not agitated…I’m just…I’m just a little agitated.” He said smiling.

“We’re not going anywhere for a while. Let’s not overwhelm ourselves so soon. I’d like to relax. I know you’d like to relax.” She said with her left brow arched and her lips pursed slyly.

Richard walked up to Marta and rested his hands on her shoulders. “Hungry?”

“Very. What time is it.” She asked.

“It’s almost 11:30. I’d say walk, but let’s take the car. Grab a bite and then pick up some food and wine and whatever else we’re going to need.” He said.

“Should we take Rebel?” She asked.

“I guess we should. Just for today. Until she’s used to the house again.” He said.

“You don’t think she’d be fine if we left her chained up out back? It’s shaded and it’s not too hot today. I mean, you don’t think she’d bark the entire time, do you?” Marta buried her head into Richard’s chest.

“Let’s see.” He said.

Richard scooped up Marta’s chin and gave her a lingering kiss.

Richard pulled his lips away and sighed. “Rebel. Come on…Let’s go!”

Rebel ran into the hall and looked for Richard.

“Come on, girl.” He said.

Rebel followed Richard out the back door.

Marta walked down the hall, poking her head into the kitchen. She leaned inside the back door. Richard  had the chain hooked up to Rebel. She lay under the large shade tree, her head on her front paws.

“I think she’ll be fine. Can you bring out the water bowl?” He said.

Marta retrieved the bowl and brought it outside.

“Yeah, she’ll be fine.” She said.

“She knows where she is.” Richard said while taking his wife by the hand and leading her back inside.

Marta closed the screen and Richard locked the back door.

“We’ll have dinner outside tonight. I’ll clean things up out back while you get things settled in the kitchen.” He said.

“I like that idea.” She said.

“Did you get everything out of the car?” Richard asked while peaking his head inside the bedroom doors.

“Everything okay? Yes. I. Everything’s inside.” Marta said anxiously.

Richard left their bedroom door open, but closed what used to be Hanna’s.

“Rooms are fine. Both are empty. Both. Let’s go get some lunch.” Richard said smiling.

Marta ran her fingers through her hair, pulling it back. She stood not breathing for a second, released her hair and exhaled. “Let’s go.”

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Blue Door...continued (part 14)

Richard knocked and wait.

Not what I imagined at all, he thought.

The hum and buzz from the air conditioners only exacerbated the haze, heat and humidity that the mid afternoon sun had brought.

Richard looked at his watch. Sweat glistened on his forearms which were turning pinker by the minute. He pulled his cell phone from his back pocket, but there was no signal. Too many trees, he thought.

“Shit.” He said.

Marta lay curled in the center of the bed. A catnap had turned into full REM sleep.

Richard pulled the books from his car and stacked them on the porch next to the front door. He’d leave a note.


I knocked and waited, knocked and waited…

Where? Are? You?

Driving now to find a signal for my phone. Not too far though.

Hope this note finds you soon…


Marta ran back inside to retrieve her phone. No signal.

“Shit!” She said.

She would have to walk the few blocks up to the main street and hope for a signal.

I’m such a fucking idiot, she thought, but Marta couldn’t help but smile at the turn of events. Things like this ALWAYS seemed to happen. Richard would have to get used to it.

Marta’s phone buzzed.

Richard Lemon



“Hi! I’m so sorry—“

“Are you home now?”

“I was home—I didn’t hear the door. I’m sorry. I fell asleep.”

“Where are you now?”

“I’m walking towards the boardwalk.”

“When you get there, stay put! I’ll see you in a bit.”



The phone clicked. Marta stood dead center in the middle of the boardwalk, facing the ocean. She hoped that Richard would see her standing there, trapped inside the sea of moving people. She closed her eyes, hoping more that it would drown out the drone of chaos and noise. Eventually she heard only the seagulls and the waves.

Richard took Marta by the hand.