He sat there, staring at the doorway, waiting. It was how he spent most days and evenings since she left. Currently he had it open, staring across the fields, across the river, to where the sun was beginning to set. That damn door. He had closed it, locked, even nailed it shut at one time. But then, out of the blue, a knock, a note, a smile and he would think, its going to open again.
Only he ever opened the door.
Tonight would be different though. He had marked the date, purely by random, and circled it. If she didn’t come to the door, then he knew drastic changes would need to be made. The old clock chimed midnight, and still he looked, longing, hoping, against the odds, but there was no sign of her. Slowly, he raised himself out of the chair. He snorted, “wonder which of us creaks more chair, you or me?’
The chair couldn’t respond, but it knew it was the man that creaked.
He walked to the table next to the door where he had left his tools. As if turning a page, he went into work mode, banishing her from his thoughts. Picking up the screwdriver and his well worn hammer, he punched out the 3 hinge pins. They came out easily, as he had kept them well oiled, waiting for her return. He was at peace when he worked.
Lifting the door off he set it outside and continued his work. Switching screwdrivers he began to remove the hinge plates on the door jam. A few screeched as if holding on, he knew that feeling. Several came right out, ready to be done. Two were missing, they knew when it was time to go.
With that done he switched to a pry bar and removed the jam. He was in the zone. Humming a long forgotten tune, he worked away. His companions, a couple of old dogs, and cats, came in and took over the chair. The dogs went right to sleep, the cats, however, kept an eye on him. They had a side bet if he would go through with it this time. The Calico was up 5-0 over the grey cat. But Scruffy, the grey, had a feeling tonight he would finally get a win.
Time flew by as he nailed in some studs, and began the drywall. He continued through the night, lost in the work and the happiness of a job well done. He wasn’t sure when he finished. Seemed like he has just sat down and closed his eyes when he was awakened by the sun streaming through the eastern facing windows.
He confused at first, not recognizing where he was. This room was all white, a blank canvas for his life ahead. Gone was the door, he couldn’t even remember where it had been, along with all the pictures and mementos that always brought her back to him, at least in his mind.
A new day. A new start. He realized he was finally just happy to be alive. It had been a long time since he had that feeling. He got up and told the animals it was time for breakfast. He had already turned away and missed Scruffy cuffing the calico, 5-1. It was a start.
Whenever one door closes, yank it off its hinges and fill in the wall. Sometimes it is the only way.
Ramblings of a mad man, July 2, 2018
John Kline said:
Although that wall remains, a new door with new opportunities has opened. All the names are the same the people and the relationship has grown and transformed.