Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Just Wait

“I hate the sound of a ticking clock.” He said before he pitched back another shot of Jack straight down his throat.

I looked around his apartment, the carelessness of his unwashed body lingered in that sick sour smell that unfortunately always called me. It called me because I cared.

I just let him talk; there was nothing left for me to say. I thought it best to just let him ramble.

“She had this clock, said her grandmother left it for her. She loved the damned thing. I could set my watch to her winding the stupid thing every night at 9 o’clock before we went to bed.”

He stood and wandered over to the bar, put his hand on the neck of the bottle, then hesitated before he poured another shot.

“But the damn thing ticked. The second hand ticked. It never bothered me before, until that last afternoon.”
He poured his drink, took it back to the couch and sat resignedly with a weariness that seemed to weigh down his very soul.

He looked off into the front window, seeing something that was no longer there. The afternoon sun streamed through the window. But something in his eyes remembered and would never forget.

“She said she’d be back, she wouldn’t take too long. I sat here waiting for her, the damn clock ticking louder and louder.”

He groaned and closed his eyes, leaned back into the couch.

“I was reading a magazine, it didn’t take me long, then there was nothing left for me to do but wait. The sun was bright and sunny, I remember kids laughing in the street. But I sat and waited, listening to the damn ticking.”

He didn’t move, his words got slower but still distinct, his eyes fluttered open.

“I don’t know why I sat there, like I was frozen, the damn ticking seemed to take over my head and just hypnotized me.”

I watched him, wishing there was something I could do for his pain, but he was too far gone for me to reach him.

“I’m so angry. First I was angry at him for taking her from me.” His fists clenched, he grimaced and he squeezed his eyes shut against what I knew were his unbidden tears. “Then I got really angry at her for leaving me.”

His breathing slowed, his face seemed to crumble.

“I know it’s wrong, it was an accident just an accident. But I waited so long for her. I waited all my life for her to come into my life. And in the end, I was still waiting.”

He opened his eyes and gazed at the ceiling, beseeching heaven with weary, sad eyes.

“How much longer do I have to wait?”

I could see there was nothing I could do. He made up his mind a long time ago. He took half of his bottle of sleeping pills with his first shot. His breathing was slowing down his heart rate dropping fast too.

Then I waited, as I always do. I waited for his final sigh. 

People don’t realize, that’s what Death really only does, I just wait.

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