Life is Sweet

The old man looked to the sun. “It has granted me another season and don’t you know, the seasons of heaven and hell are hard to tell apart”, he wrote in his diary.

Little absurdities are little routines. Little corners in a land called forever. I love to watch them spin in a circle turning around to completely change character. I came home one night and I couldn’t breathe. I felt so ill that I prayed for the morning.

The morning came and I started to peer through forever, visiting every corner I had seen. I watched a giant spider waiting in its elaborate network of webs in a corner of the kitchen window.

It was perfectly still.

I watched a smaller spider crawl on the sill near the web and I did what I had been doing of late. I got a stick and denied the spider its dinner by tearing the web.

I had interfered with nature a few nights previously. A moth had flown into a spider’s web and it was struggling. I got my stick and tore the web. There are disruptions in nature, right? I was just helping them along.

Knowing I have a pen and paper, my mind sighs with relief. The relief is that I never have to talk to certain voices again because I can give them their sound, their colour and their shape. There are some people in this world that I will never talk to again even if I talk to them.

The old man stopped writing and looked around his room. There were little changes there. Some new items of clothing were scattered on the bed.  His books and shoes were in a different arrangement on the floor. He was happy to exist there and he watched the world from his window. It was a world that never seemed to resist clambering to be anywhere than where it was. The world stared back at him with nothing to say and nowhere to be.

He could not understand the way people spoke on the television or in newspapers and magazines. At best he thought most people looked like plastic, alien robots that would eventually self destruct from their exclusive monotony. A visitor at the window distracted his thoughts from images of burnt out batteries and melted wires that were in six feet high flames. A robin flew in the open window and landed on his notebook. The old man sat breathless and held out his finger. The robin hopped on.

It flew onto the dressing table across the room. The old man watched with curiosity as the bird picked up a piece of paper with its beak and let it drop on the floor. Then it flew out the window. He went to pick up the paper. It was a quote that he had torn out from a book. It said ‘ There must be something dreadful in life going on when you feel with your tongue the shell of your teeth that are like a cave in your mouth and there must be some beautiful God that allows you to breathe in and out of it. “God must be here”, he thought.

He continued moving through the remaining routines of the day. He went to the shop to buy bread and milk. He came home and sat in his old chair with his rug over his knees. He sipped on his tea and chewed buttered white crusty bread. Sooky, his black cat lay by his feet. He closed his eyes and felt happy to perform all the routines that tomorrow might bring. The house was dark and still with his breathing and the breathing of the cat. The old man and Sooky fell asleep.

Lena O’ Connell

Lena O’ Connell graduated from the Limerick School of Art and Design in 2009. She specialised in fine art, sculpture. Lena currently lives and works in Tipperary, Ireland. She teaches art to children and is aspiring to undertake a higher diploma in art teaching.

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