His shoulders sagged as he stood waiting for the bus. He pulled them back and straighened his spine but felt as if an invisible net of was wrapped over his body dragging him down. His mind flashed back and forth with memories that he tried to drive away by thinking about what he needed to get done for work and how he was going to make his mortgage payment. Tax day was coming up as well. All in the present. But the thoughts of what he had ruined and what he had lost pulled on him. Dark matter. Dark energy. It wasn’t just some theoretical concept of physics in his life. It was the reality of what he dealt with every day, every moment. Invisible but real. Affecting the movement and distribution of everything in his life. The dark fog of what had been that absorbed any speck of light he could generate with yoga and meditation and exercise and art. The therapist had told him to forgive himself. Easier said than done.
He turned and saw Pamela waving at him as she came up the hill. He smiled and waved back. He liked having new friends. Friends whom he’d confessed enough about the past to feel honest but whom had no real connection to it.
“Hey, how’s the day going?” he said.
“It sucks. Just got a call about my mom. She’d going to have to go into hospice. They don’t think she has much time.”
“I’m sorry. That’s hard.”
“It would be harder if she hadn’t been such a bitch when I was growing up.”
“We all have our crosses to bear.”
By Paul DeLong
On February 5, 2023
There are many fine elements to this piece, and the reader is left hopeful for continuance, which in itself would be some kind of resolution. The narrator seems insightful, and somehow approaching more insight, vis a vis “the new friends,” whose presence implies a capacity to gain some relief by a detachment from the past and its “invisible net.” Empathy for the narrator has been built through his awareness, forbearance, and endurance, as well as his clear efforts to be released from the “fog” by healing practices. We live in hope for a greater resolution in a subsequent piece of writing, and feel assured, at least, that more insight will be forthcoming. Good writing. Hope we get to read more!