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  • Speak No More


    There was a time, when in smoke hazed afternoons, we made love on a cheap frameless mattress made feeble, and lumpy by all the constant work we put against the old wrinkled fibers. We’d make love in the morning against the backdrop of the morning news. Then after lunch, we’d repeat the process and commit the carnal act again. We took pleasure in the most simple acts that our bodies could commit. Even late into the night, we’d observe every freckle and soft wave of each others skin against the moody light of candle lit wine bottles. Between the day hours, we’d create our worlds into shining castles of disbelief.

    I’d sit behind a blaring white screen and slam out all the personal diatribes of my life that I could. The coffee table had been taken over by little tome scripted pieces of computer paper and manila envelopes. We were harsh believers of the long drifted wives’ tale that everything would be alright, that sunny beach drawn picnics and rainy day cafe excursions would last forever.

    I remember everything. I remember the white napkins that I scribbled hopeless poems against. I remember the notebooks piled high against elongated apartment radiators. I remember all the books I read by thoughtless writers I hated because they had made it and I still hadn’t. I remember words I used to describe loving religious sacrilege. I remember driving to Seattle just because we could; sleeping in the back of an old van, and smoking boredom away within drifter motels deep against the lands of “Out There.” I longed for the days of you and I to last forever, but somewhere between marriage and death I lost you to the hand of a malign God.

    I sit behind bar counters without patrons to write and drink the memories out of me. Many times I’ve thought about incasing all those notebooks from the days of you within the confines of a coffin; however, I always got hung up on whether or not to bury the damn thing or shove it off into the sea. Your memories haunted me like a ghost behind the vintage screens of my memory. I told myself things would get better as the days turned into months and months into years, but that never happened. People always tell you it’ll get better, so they won’t have to listen to you whine like a lame dog in the night.

    I miss you. I play pretend against the changing of the seasons, from autumn hours under the moon, to the dirty dog days of summer. I pretend you’re still in bed under those dirty sweet smelling sheets. I pretend you’re just at the grocery store buying supplies so that we can cook together. I pretend you’re out taking photos of dramatically tragic scenes. I pretend you’re around the corner of my eye just past the spot where my vision cuts off, just at the other end of the couch still eating popcorn (I can still hear the crunch of undercooked kernels.) I believe everything, but the fact you’re forever gone. When I walk down streets and wander through grocery stores, I see you. I see you in every couple that passes by when I walk down the street. You’re in the way they hold hands; you’re in the way she laughs at the idiotic musings he whispers but sound so sweet; you’re in the way they sip coffee on semi-cool park benches. Everything in me hates them for this.

    I hate the world and the world hates me. Ever since you disappeared I went to the shady pawnbroker down the road and bought my plan B, a grip taped snub nose pistol. Every night before falling asleep into the world of nightmares and cold sweat, I’d check the chamber to make sure the cold metallic savior was still within. And every night before drifting off, I’d tell myself that tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is the day that I cut out, tomorrow is the day I buy my ticket to silence. But every morning tomorrow cuts out and gets rescheduled to the day after.

    My days drift around like noodles in soup and every time it gets poured down the drain, I think it’s over but it’s never really over. I’ve waged war with life and my weapons are cigarettes, beer, and pizza; my own holy trinity of self destruction. I sold the house to forget you, but you’re still here, you’re in the slow happy memories of my mind. Now I drift from dirty motels with names like 6t7 and Happy Times. Happy times my ass. A motel isn’t a motel unless you can find used condoms in the trash, and cigarette butts along the wall, the black hole between the head board of the dirty bed and the wall. On Sunday mornings I like to turn on the television and watch fire and brimstone televangelists make hard-on Jesus lovers cry for their savior. And while the hard-on Jesus lovers cry, I write illegible scribbles in the pages of a spiral bound Mead notebook.

    You speak no more, but sometimes when I find myself furiously scribbling out my mad and melancholic hymns in a notebook I hear your voice break through the void between where you died and where you exist in my mind. Every time I hear your voice break through the ranting of my pen, I weep. I weep for the days we lost and the kids we never had. I weep for the stupid fucking trinkets you were never able to buy in old age. I weep for the voice I know isn’t really there. I weep because I will never feel the warm touch of your skin against mine. I weep for the long drives to nowhere that never happened. I weep for the wills we never wrote. I weep for the silence. That all imposing silence that rings like a bell through my bones. I weep because you speak no more.

    About The Author

    William Bretton Hodge

    William Bretton Hodge lives in Indianapolis Indiana, and recently graduated from Mount Vernon High School. He is unsure of which university to attend, but plans to major in creative writing. Mr. Hodge spends his spare time writing and looking for employment.