by Sarah Frances Moran
He opens the door of his too small apartment and immediately goes to the thermostat. It’s set to 70 and that’s too warm. He pushes the down arrow until it rests on 65. Content, he goes over to the fridge where a 12-pack waits for him. Pops the tab on a Miller Lite and sits at the dining room table he’s had for as long as he can remember. He downs that first beer within a minute, gets up for another.
Usually he’d turn on the TV and see if there was anything worth watching. Baseball, a basketball game, a really bad B movie. Today his mind wanders. He glances over at the pictures of children. They’re grown now and distant. It’s not a separation he knows how to mend. He wonders about letting go. He wonders about his ex-wife and the way he treated her. He wonders about how his mother died too young and how his father used to hit her.
He’s in his fifties and he still has those memories. He can vividly remember his father drunk and belligerent after downing Miller Lites. He figures his children probably have bad memories too.
He’s on beer three now and decides he’d like to check in on his daughter. He grabs his cell phone and scrolls through the list of names, finds her and hits call. It always just rings and rings. Those rings have become more familiar than her voice. The voicemail picks up and this time he doesn’t feel like leaving a message. He wishes she’d answer more. He gets up for a fourth beer and remembers he hasn’t eaten, opens up the fridge again to find it empty except for the Miller Lite, contemplates momentarily ordering a pizza and then shuts the fridge door. He doesn’t feel like calling anyone again, not even for food. He resigns to allow the TV to finally give him company.
500 miles away his daughter sits staring at the phone. It’s 8:00pm. She let’s it ring. She doesn’t answer his calls after 6pm when she knows he’s probably already drunk. She stares down at the phone waiting to see if a message arrives. One doesn’t and she wishes she’d answer the phone more. She turns on the TV and settles in with her can of Miller Lite.
[Featured]Digital Art Image Credit: no beer outside by J.A. Spahr-Summers. ©Copyright 2015, Jeffrey A. Spahr-Summers.
Snapping Twig – Summer – 2015
Vol: May 2015 thru Jul 2015