“Cat litter,” the last thing said, and something about that abandoned bicycle, a child’s bike, deep red, repainted, left askew on their lawn for days.
Those were the last things. The last things she said. And so he’d begun to move about much more carefully. Timidly some might say, an amalgam of caution and care. Ever tender, aware that things break, or tear, spill, or fall apart. End.
But then Laramie, his sister, mother, the kids – some entities seem to persist, so few and so stubborn, inexplicably, threatening almost, as if an accumulating disaster, an heavier withdrawal. He doesn’t know what to make of it.
Abandonment crushes all scales and statistics – but pebbles and dust, foundations and roots still remain. Persistent. Resilient. Irrational.
Like a sloth he repaired to his desk, as delicate and slow. He took up a pen with his head in his hand. He was lonely, alone but for quiet, sweet silence, and branches and birdsong and wind, autos and dogs. Not quite quiet. Not quite alone. But abandoned, far as he could surmise.
He wrote. Rather drew. Looping lines that were shaky on paper. Tried to make his operation more smooth. It failed. He shakes now, does Alias, from drinking and smoking, aging and grief. From perspective. His perspective.
A rattling undone, an erosion. He sighs.
A bike, and “cat litter,” then gone. Others had left for much more and much less. Litanies of reasons of wrongs are so easy with humans involved, never mind the ‘weight of the good.’ Can’t compete. Won’t compute. There are mistakes, and effort involved – both are failures, no matter the theories or talk, no matter their universality. He was wrong and a failure, which equals abandon no matter the words they produced.
Alas, Alias. A depression. An outlook that colors the field, but it’s charcoal. No matter the ‘whom’ it will bleed, run them dry, and disfigure. No one’s withstood it for long, for all of his kindness and passion (devised to distract from the swallowing dark, or the primer – his base coat is death). He’s alone.
Not a Laramie, mother, or kin. Without doubt there’s no lover, no friend. Just a man and his books and incessant grey thoughts, and a pen.
He begins, looping lines…forming “Cat litter,” the last thing she said…