Saturday, September 12, 2015


exercise #8: loss


Must be the damned tap again, she thought to herself. It had been loose ever since they'd moved in, and she had tried fruitlessly to tighten it herself many times over since the incident. Each time, it would stop for a moment, just enough so that you would walk away, go about your day, and faintly hope that it wasn't going to drip again...

...but when she got home, it would be dripping - incessantly, painfully.

How hard can it be to fix a tap? she fumed, while staring up at her yellowing, moldy ceiling. The plumbers and landlord had been in a couple of times, making vague airs about the price of the work, and the tiring labour that would be involved. Complaint after complaint - it was nearly worse than the faucet itself! It's not that she couldn't fix it, it's just that, well...all this sort of stuff used to be sorted out by hi-

No, she shook her head angrily, restlessly churning the sheets like milk in her bed. None of that now.

She settled slowly on to her side, enveloped in the warmth of the doona wrapped around her. Staring unfocused out the window, she saw as life just...happened outside. The clouds reflected her apathy by lazily carving out their paths in the sky. Barks of laughter rang out in the distance; people enjoying the splendor of life. After a while, a small, striped tabby cat stalked along the fence of her backyard and stopped right in view of her window. It stared at her in the snobbish, elitist way that cats can stare, and then haughtily walked off. She sighed.

Getting disrespected by a damn cat, she thought ruefully. Am I that-


It never used to bother her. The sound used to be just one of the comfortable creaks of the house, assuring her that everything was running soundly (except, of course, for the faucet). But was just a reminder of what used to be them. Every so often, she would halfheartedly try and do what he used to, striking a certain part of the wall behind the bed so that the faucet would temporarily tighten (somehow, he was able to defy the laws of physics). It never worked for her, even after the countless times being taught the method, and he'd always tease her about it. When she became sullen about the faucet, he would switch gears, joking and cajoling her back to a sunnier state of mind.

And now, she thought with sorrow, he couldn't be here to do that any more.

No more whispering about the shapes of clouds, or the stories they concocted. No more sharing the stupid laughter and chases in forests, beaches, mountains, anywhere. No more Tuesday nights shit-talking the latest movie, stretched out on the couch together. No more wandering the city streets, comfortable in each others presence, whether speaking or silent.

No more fixing the faucet.

The tears came silently.



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