Bent Words

Bent Words

December 15, 2007

He hunched over the coffee table in a sullen arch. The glow of the television set cast a blue flash in his eyes as he stared straight forward. He was silent. A tall glass of pure white milk rested between his fingers, exchanged for the can of Miller Light that he did not discard. His elbows were propped against his bare knees and I followed the line of his bulging calves down to his ankles. His feet moved with the motion of his toes as they each sought the carpet in a restless fashion, like that of a person who had been in flight for a long trip, seeking the comfort of solid ground. I watched him reach for the pills, all lined up in a row, though his eyes never left his stoic stare from that flickering light.

First, green, than a gulp of milk. Second, white, than another gulp of milk. Until all the colors of the rainbow, and equal in number, had been swallowed. He downed the last drop of milk from that clear, tall glass while rising to his feet and he shuffled into the kitchen to place the empty container in the sink. I followed him with my gaze and wondered if he looked at me through the reflection of the window above the sink as I had often looked at him. He turned around and I quit my stare, facing the flickering lights of that television set with feigned interest. He sat down with a sigh and lit a cigarette for one, scratching his ankle as he sucked the life into that half lit smoke.

I rose to use the bathroom. I washed my face and brushed my teeth and peered into his shower to make sure my bath sponge was still there, hanging from the hook that it had always hung upon. It was there. The single sign of me. I turned to the mirror and faced my reflection, inspecting my teeth and worrying over the protruding red bump on my chin. 'Damned if that ain't sexy,' I muttered aloud and turned off the light before opening the door.

It was silent. The flickering light of the television had ceased and the only light was that of his bedroom where his body lay, wrapped amongst the covers. I carefully undressed, letting my clothes fall where they may, as I watched his closed eyes flutter under the light. His left arm rose to shield the brightness from his drowsy state and I quickly removed my contacts, placing the paraphernalia to the floor beside the bed. He turned off the light and lay still on his back. I rolled onto my side and nuzzled my head into that perfect spot above his chest while my left leg completed the puzzle, intertwined between his.

"Sleep good," he whispered, kissing me on the forehead.

I always wanted to correct him that it was supposed to be 'sleep well.'

"Sleep good," I replied.

I suddenly felt his body become petrified underneath me. He was stiff and silent, barely breathing. I touched his chest with my cold hand and he jerked away. My head rose, cutting the light of the moon, and I searched his face.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't know."

"Are you going to be sick, sweetie?"

"I don't know."

I reached over to my side of the bed to where he had a garbage can with a plastic bag lined inside. It was a precaution from last week when his daughter was over and wasn't feeling well. I calmly crawled over him and gingerly requested that we switch places, just in case. He was barely over before his hand stretched out to grab the garbage can and I quickly placed my hand gently against his back. I rubbed the vast space as he continued to be sick and whispered that he was going to be okay and to let it all out.

After some time, as the moon grew brighter in the room, he rolled over onto his back and placed a palm upon his forehead. I quickly jumped up and discarded the used bag into the garbage, replacing it with a new one. I returned in a flash.

"Hey, that was pretty heavy! What'd you have for lunch, anyway... a whole freakin' cow?!"

He laughed. A deep, beautiful belly laugh and I crawled back into bed.


"Do NOT be sorry, babe. I'm not. There is nothing to be sorry for."

He put his arms around me and held me for some time, stating that he felt much better. His rainbow pills had been discarded and thus he no longer felt utterly nauseous - the damned Gleevac. I nuzzled into that perfect spot above his chest, my leg between his, and inhaled the scent of his body. I kissed his shoulder, all around, until there was no more I had not kissed. I inched toward his collar bone and let my tender kisses fall all over. I slowly guided my lips toward his cheek and met his lips with passionate ease.

He paused.

He looked at me carefully; pausing in the moon light and I looked back at him before I placed his hand around the back of my neck and pushed downward on his arm until our lips met again.

Nothing could stop me...

Written at 10:21 p.m.