Thursday, September 9, 2010

Friday Flash: “Empathy”

This is something that I was able to write and put a little editing into. As a side note I’ve realized two things: First, that while in person I’m a very happy-go-lucky guy. I smile a lot, I whistle tunes I made up as I walk through stores, I have conversations with complete strangers. But put me in front of a computer keyboard and I morph into this dark and twisted writer…very strange. Perhaps there is a side of my trying to claw its way out. Second, I need to put pictures on this blog so I did. Anyways, enjoy.

The coffee table was covered in old mail: advertisements, credit applications, and bills hid the wooden veneer surface. Plates littered with old food sat on top of the papers, and fruit flies were making themselves at home. On the corner of the table was an empty ashtray.

Behind the table was a couch where she sat next to him. He was crying again. It seemed like he was always crying.

“Is there anything that I can get you? How about a glass of juice?” He shook his head. She shrugged her shoulders and turned back towards the television where she flipped through the channels. There was really nothing much to watch on a Saturday afternoon.

“I know you were close to her, but come on, you’re gonna to have to get over it at some point. It’s been what, three months?” He shook his head and buried it under the blankets. “Jesus Christ, look outside. It’s beautiful and we’re stuck in here watching…a home re-modeling show. We don’t even own our own place.”

He poked his head out and stared into her eyes. His face was red and the skin around his eyes were puffy and swollen. “You don’t get it do you?”

She leaned over and gave him a hug. “I’m sorry, but you’re right. I just don’t get why this is so hard for you. But I’m here for you. Whatever you need.”

“I need you to understand, and I don’t think you do.”

She watched as his breathing turned staccato; his was heaving up and down with each dis-jointed breath. “Ok, take deep breaths. I’m here for you.” She pulled him in tighter. “Take deep breaths.” She could feel him trying to fill his lungs with short, shallow, breaths; but every time he tried, his diaphragm shot up and blasted the air out of his chest, creating a void inside.

“Come on. Big deep breath, ready?” She breathed in slowly, exaggerating the sound of air passing through her lips. He followed her and he began to stabilize.

“There you go. See, doesn’t that feel better.” He nodded his head. “Do you want anything? Perhaps some juice.” He shook his head from side to side.

A week later she was returning home from work; the door to the bathroom was closed and the light on. She put her bag on the table, plopped down on the couch, and turned on the TV, dropping the day’s mail on the coffee table. That’s when she noticed the note.


I love you, but I’ve decided to end it…

She took off towards the bathroom and flung open the door. He was lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

Later that year she gathered the strength to read the rest of the note:

…You wanted to help me so badly. You said you would do whatever I wanted you to do. But what I wanted you to do was to understand. I wanted you to say, “Yes, cry. You deserve to cry. Let it all out.” Instead all you seemed able to do was get me juice. I love you, I just wish you could have given me more empathy.


  © Blogger template Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP