Real Gone

There was a yellow haze in the night. Streetlamps let off a glow. He sat in his chair at the window and looked on, taking in everything; blackness of early morning hours, rain thumping on windows, cars driving by on wet pavement, the sound of Coltrane running through his head. And, every once in awhile, his own voice, talking out loud in whispered tones. Saying nothing really. Not much to say.

He looked around for inspiration. The canvass was stretched. Looked at old photographs of her. Pictures from vacations they had taken. Driving across North America without an itinerary, a plan. They never had a plan. Life just came and went. He’d have a job for a month or so, then quit, or, get fired. They’d take final paychecks and celebrate by going out in style; fancy restauraunts, bars, The Pump Room, Kitty O’Shea’s. He held her in his arms and they danced till the money was gone.

And now he looked at her differently. She was no longer a woman he was in love with. Pictures showed her at her best, dark hair and dark eyes, but they never caught her true essence, her nature. She was always laughing in pictures, but, not away from the camera. Did I make her miserable?, he asked. Did I waste her life?, he began to paint. I’m sorry, he said as he put energy into every stroke. I’m sorry.

He stayed up all night painting her; jet black hair, cream colored skin, never did she blush. And, when he was done he sat in his chair and looked out at the night and wondered where she was? She was gone. Real gone. And, so was he.

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