The Little Things

They say you miss the little things
when love leaves you behind.

They say you hear a voice, a laugh
an echo of a smile.

They say you feel an emptiness
where warm-tight arms would hold.

They say you wake a night or two
in bed, alone and cold.

What they don’t say is just how long
the little things are missed.

What they don’t know is is just how much
your everything persists.

What they don’t feel is where you were
before we came apart.

What they don’t live is half a life
with empty soul and heart.

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Photo Credit: Stefan Spassov

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Depravity, an Answer

Man is no longer subject to an original sin.

No, he’s sinned quite enough on his own to go far beyond what an Adam may or may not have done.

He walks the streets full of money and glances this way or that but not down to where his money might be spent.

-To fill the empty void in another’s life with drink and drug and possibly the warm blanket: proving the beggar no greater than the man walking, for the man walking is fueled by substance as well.

He and his family (if he has one) all walk while empty inside, trying to fill themselves with pulsing, flashing, instantaneous media. They hide behind their screen, almost-tickled by dopamine, while Mom and Dad take a cold one after a day run by warm ones and a few breaks filled with smoky ones.

And the world is filled with varying levels of success, yet all are depraved of what will really fill their soul and leave them sated with light.

Written in response to The Literati Mafia‘s essay prompt.

A Different Path

I find myself at a loss for words, today -at least, for creative ones. Often when writing, I get some sort of inspirational idea. I think it over in my head, turning it round mentally like a monkey examining a shiny bauble.

I can’t just write shiny bauble, though. I need to express how the lights play within its miniature depths; how the fragile, intricate primate fingers clasp and turn the ball. Its head cocks to the right, then left, then right. Golden-green eyes stay focused, mirroring the reflected lights from its hands.

But, today is different.

I began the day in an industrial mood. Excited at the prospect of gem-hunting, I picked up my monkey and headed into the jungle. He cuddled excitedly against my shirt, chittering.

“So sorry, Miss,” a guide intercepted us. “This is the path you must go today.” He directed me back to the city, to reality.

The jungle flora gave way to recently-planted elderberry and yew, swaying amidst fresh-turned earth and wood chip mulch. Indigenous village huts became a one-level, stucco and brick building. It had a courtyard, the sort built only to stare at.

Alzheimer’s Facility, the sign read.

They let me in, said my ape was cute. He, in turn, burrowed his head shyly into my shoulder. He doesn’t usually say much to strangers.

After signing in, I entered somewhere scarier than any dark-jungle adventure, lonelier than any abandoned temple, more depressing than imagination -for, here at the end of our redirected path, lay the truest reality of all:

Death.

Though, not merely death. Here in the halls of failing minds; the shells of people shuffle, so terribly slowly, eventually to Death.

The nurses have thoughtfully detailed the lives of residents on little plaques outside their doors. “Bob was the middle of nine children,” “Doris was an active community member, volunteering anytime a helping hand was needed,” “Marie used to love visiting every grandchild on his birthday, recording the day with an ancient video camera nearly half her weight…”

It doesn’t matter anymore. There’s no one there.

Slippered residents wander, lost, examining a world completely incomprehensible to them. Maybe they have family, like me and my monkey. I came, embraced a seated woman, said, “Hi, Grandma. How are you?”

Her familiar face turned my way, completely void of recognition. Her light blue eyes, the ones she passed onto my father, looked emptily beyond me. She said nothing. She’s forgotten how to speak.

“Heh-wo,” my small helper chirped, trying to peer cutely up at her. She looked down at him, and sweetly smiled.