Hands by Conrad Ridgestone

June 17, 2013 Comments Off on Hands by Conrad Ridgestone

I gaze at my hands. I only realize now that they are shaking. I further examine them and notice the fine lines of wrinkles gone unnoticed over the years. My hands are old. Veins are bulging, making them look worked and worn. I can’t stop the shaking even though I will myself to stop, and I have a feeling of hunger deep in my belly, but food is not its wanting, but it wants. Wants him back. In my arms. In my heart. Alive! My eyes cloud over with tears; they fall down my cheeks. When I think I’m all cried out, all of a sudden I feel overtaken by my grief, and I hear myself start to sob — again. Weep. Whatever the fuck you call it. I’m choking on tears now. Crying out his name. I start to scream; then I stutter at the silence. I feel the silence. I hear it. I taste it. It’s in the air. It’s in my heart. Unbidden sorrow rocking me into the depths of nothingness. I eat to stay alive. I take my meds. I drink water, but I haven’t turned on the television since . . . him. I start to analyze myself now; the anger is coming. Isn’t that a step of grief? I want it to come. I want the guilt and the pain that are devouring me gone. It does not come. I sleep on his side of the bed at night. To smell him. I take my shirt off just to have something to cry into so that I don’t wash his scent away with my tears. I remember so many nights with him at my side. I was the one who feared death. I never thought about the fear of me being in this world without him. I never allowed myself to believe it was possible. He may have been the older one, but I was the weaker one. I swallow. Hard. Anxiety creeps in. I pop another Benzo and wish for my death and his resurrection. He deserved to live. I don’t understand it, and in the pit of my gut, I know it’s wrong, like someone stole something from me. I know it’s wrong. I know it. They’ll bring him back. I know it. I don’t know who they are, but they have it all wrong. It’s me. I’m the one they want. Not him. He held me when I couldn’t breathe, when my mother died, and I couldn’t stop blubbering. Who will hold me now?

By four AM, I’m in a catatonic wake. I don’t know if it’s depression setting in or the Benzo trying to force it’s hand. Lips. A flash of lips in my mind. His. At the top of my spine. His way.

© 2013 Conrad Ridgestone, Earlier Version Previously Appeared at Linguistic Erosions 

Conrad Ridgestone lives in Lebanon, Kansas.

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