Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Melancholy Meaning of a Man

I curled my body into a tight little mass of sadness as I slumped my frail frame into the sand. I had discovered my own personal haven of loneliness along the California coast. Most of the weekend tourists and local metal detector fiends scurried near the populated areas.

I was forced to park in their midst, but it didn't mean I couldn't wander.

I had made my way to a small half moon cove. Rocks jutted out on either side, tall and proud, seemingly protecting me from any nearby voyeurs.

A population of smaller, darker rocks stood at attention along the breadth of the coastline, scattered and unfettered by the incoming waves

This is where I would wait for Him.

For the last few weeks I could feel Him breathing down my neck. He would scatter tightly organized papers on my desk or toss some pens to the floor to get my attention. He ruined my pasta by sapping its flavor. He pushed me to feel sheepish and unnecessary around others.

I knew my only resolve was to make time to deal with Him. But I would choose the location at my own discretion, without force or anxiety.

I wrapped my thin arms tightly around my weakened frame and wished someone I cared for were in my vicinity. I placed my index finger in the sand and made an impromptu frowny face.

For some reason it made me laugh.

I started to give him an aged receding hairline when I felt a mass of weight plop down to my left.

Melancholy had arrived.

"It's about time," is all I managed to share with Him as we sat there alone enjoying the continual dance of waves against the coastline.

Melancholy sat in the very same position as I did, mocking me as his smile sent a shiver down my spine.

He was much older than I remembered and less polished in his appearance. His raven hair had given way to wavy strands of grey. He was dressed in the very same silver suit I had remembered, only the threading wear of time had not been kind.

"So lets get to it," I said with just a hint of fatigue in my voice.

He threw back his head as an eerie cackle arose from his throat. He smelled of stale Marlboro's and a unique blend of fruits and alcohol I didn't recognize.

He caught his breath as he finally managed to speak.

"You know you're my favorite, don't you? I never leave your side for more than a few hours."

I tried to be subtle as I backed away from his breath.

"Am I really that compelling?"

"No, not really. But you give me so many reasons for being, why would I ever leave you?"

I turned my head back toward the sand and continued my personal sketch in the sand.

"See? See what I mean? You're totally defeated! You're totally done!"

He kicked up a mass of sand and a few helpless tiny crabs scattered for their lives.

"You don't even have an answer, do you?"

I was resolve in my retort, for it was all I had left.

"I'm too damn tired. I don't have the strength."

He beat his feet against the sand, ruining my artwork.

"Well you better rent a bigger apartment, because it looks like we'll be living together for a long, long time."

Whether it was his mocking tone or his cocky attitude, I couldn't say.

But something in me snapped.

I shot at Melancholy and grabbed his neck, shoving his head into a nearby rock. The top portion of his skull burst open revealing a deep blue mass of goo. It was thick and gelatin and it moved quickly, covering one of the nearby rocks.

My hands released their grip and his wicked, self-assured smile lay affixed on his face. I fell back and stared up at the now deep blue rock.

Suddenly images began to flicker on the rock face.

A Dialysis treatment gone horribly wrong...

Another young woman sickened by the realization of my condition...

A workday afternoon where I can't help but lie on the floor of my office to get some rest...

A company party where I stand on the sidelines because I don't belong...

As each scene played out on the rock face, the emotions of each encounter filled my mind until I felt as though they were happenning over and over again and I failed once again to act to stop them.

And then I passed out.

I awoke, or at least that's what I assumed I did, in a completely white arena.

I shot my glance in every direction and found there were none. Everything had been denied any sense of color.

And then I heard footsteps, dress shoes on a tiled floor.

I turned left and right and left again. I had no idea where they were arising from.

And then there He was.

Melancholy had returned.

He appeared to have either discovered the secret of youth, or travelled back in time.

"Here," he said as he shoved a few stapled pieces of paper into my hands.

He smiled that eerie smile again as I glanced at the cover.

In big bold letters were the word "Test" with a huge D minus written in red pen.

My gaze met his and in his right arm I could see a huge three ring binder with the word "Answers" written on the binding.

"Can I take a look at those?"

"Now what fun would that be?"

I fell back into the sand on the very same beach I had been curled up on earlier.

As I picked myself up, I dusted off the sand on my pants and shoes, reliving the past few moments in my head.

The rock was assuredly no longer blue.

And neither was I.

I took in a slow, deep breath and allowed the salt vapor to tickle my lungs. A sliver of sunset made it's way through the clouds and landed near my feet as I began to take my first step home.

One step at a time, taking on one emotion at a time.

I knew I would return, but next time, I'd try to pack less baggage.

1 comment:

  1. Fuck, you're an amazing writer.

    I know I tell you that pretty much every time I comment, but, um, yeah, wow.

    Your last line makes me very happy, Stacy. I wish Melancholy could be permanently barred from visiting you in any form, but it is good to hear you're planning on packing less bagagge.

    On a completely self-centered note Mollie Sue is my FAVOURITE so you gave me pretty much the best compliment the world has ever known. Well, she was my favourite when I'd only seen the previews. Actually watching it, I couldn't help but succumb to the Nnenna-fever everyone and his dog is experiencing. Mollie Sue is tied for first now.