Egg eyes crack in the dim 4am light. It's every morning like clockwork, and time to sit by the window and watch the fog clear. Around this time, 20 years ago it wouldn't have been the light roused me but the clang of bustle, the smell of coffee and oats, ma polishing his shoes. Always a half hour of this bustle and then with a slam-click, ma's off to bed again and I'm at the window watching him stomp off down the path, downhill to the street but always uphill and through a muddy mire. Back then, the fog cleared much faster mornings, the thick swirls put into motion by the flailing of his arms through it. He was painfully aware of his direction in this relentless mist and made no pioneering pretense. The fog sensed this, leaving a clear path in his wake, whispering to the boy in the window, "See boy? How I make way, how clear the path is? Accept this road, don't go wandering around that uncertain soup!"
You could cut the fog with a spoon this morning however; only naked branches reached like fingers out of it. I shudder. Mother's polishing shoes in the kitchen, keeping them clean, hoping someday there'll be feet come walking downstairs to put them on and stomp them into the street, downtown. She want's feet to think about while she's mending socks and shirts, feet to make dinner bustle for in the cold sodden kitchen. She needs tierd, heavy feet to lift onto stools, to kick her & then go away. Poor ma, just like him.
I used to judge her for the lies she told me about him, the concentration camps, shipwrecks, midnight muggings, hack and horror. But now I understand how it just hurt her that he never gave two **** about the very thing she built a home around. It was her weary path to decorate his ball and chain with tinsel and worry.
I'm not going downstairs this morning, the fogs too thick and I hear only teenaged frogs stumbling home.
Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better. Been feeling a little tired.