"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stone Aged Loneliness

The cabin stood with the longevity of a world wonder. It was as if each stone had emigrated from a foreign land and drawn together out of a need for community. Having held the same footprint for centuries, the structure was stalwart, unwavering, unwilling to concede any ground to decay or progress.  The moon would rise soon enough, feeling no jealousy over the hours it was not luminary. Though brighter, the sun could never paint the water as beautifully, and every celestial body knew it. Here, at the edge of infinity, the only other illumination would be whatever wood, oil or wax a match was struck against.

The old man was unconcerned of wattage or time. His line was cast and the boulder on which he sat was the lesser twin to the one he leaned his back upon.  Soft, cushy places never gave him much leverage, and they seemed to foster an apathy he just couldn't stomach any longer. His line was slack, but he craved the pull. Tension meant there was something on the other end worth fighting for, and life had been flaccid far too long.

There was a quiet that had settled here, long before stone upon stone built human boundaries. That same quiet was a megaphone to anything out of the ordinary. The "driveway", a worn dirt path speckled with gravel and bird shit, announced arrivals as rarely as a holiday, and were just about as unwelcome. But loneliness drove a hard bargain and after a lengthening decade, he was ready to dicker. When he heard tires crunch a hesitant beat to the symphony of encroaching night...something in his gut quickened. He didn't care who it was, or how long gone, or how long stayin'. Everything suddenly went taut...and it felt damn good.