Thursday, May 3, 2018

dontravis.com blog post #283

The Never Forevermore

The post this week is less of a story than an essay on life. Those of you who read my work will recognize that I am a fish out of water… I do not write in the style of this piece. Because I am experimenting, I would appreciate any feedback you care to provide… positive or negative.

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Courtesy of Pixels
THE NEVER FOREVERMORE

          “You know I’ll love you forevermore, don’t you?”
          The words, uttered with all the fervor and sincerity of Robert Browning’s devotion to Elizabeth Barrett, rolled glibly off my lips on a broad Key West barchan attended by broad blue waters speckled with small sailing vessels that seemed as forevermore as my declaration but in reality, lapped distant shores and broke over rocky cliffs beyond my sight in green, frothy waves. Her proximity on the huge terrycloth towel spread on warm white quartz sands beaded by feldspar and garnet and littered with cockle and conch and angel wings provoked stirrings that seemed somehow inappropriate to the moment, although natural to the occasion. Feeling my desire, she snuggled closer as the endless swash struggled to reach us, always failing and retreating back into the ocean that spawned it.
          But a honeymoon was not eternal, neither in the moment nor in the abstract. It was the appetizer before the meal, the knish before the brisket, so to speak. Ours lasted well into the second year of our marriage, but a woman exhausted by nursing an infant daughter while simultaneously pursuing a professional career occasionally became waspish with a tongue that owned a sharp barb. Once stung, I grew more defensive and less understanding, fraying the delicate silken thread that held it all together. The second child, a son, proved frail and more demanding, denying us the little time we reserved to ourselves.
          Preferring to merely replace one another on this teeming planet, we dispensed with childbearing after that. A fortunate decision, as those two nearly taxed our patience, energy, and resources to the breaking point. Marcie was gifted, demanding special attention, while a fragile Abel sopped up what was left.
          Ruptures appeared when our daughter attached herself to a slothful, sullen youth, and was supported by my wife. I saw the lout for what he was, but the strain of that relationship for the brief time it lasted nearly rent us apart.
          In his teens, our son recovered his health and discovered his homosexuality, nearly driving his mother to distraction. She fought it, but I knew the inevitable end result and supported him for who he was. That wound required time to repair itself. His mother eventually held her waspish tongue on the subject, but I saw betrayal in her eyes for a long time.
          The years passed, and I forgot the eight words spoken in those halcyon days of youth. Many times, it would have been easier to cleave the marriage than to hold it together. But we somehow managed to darn the silken threads that bound us, at times mending gaping holes in our relationship, but never allowing the precious essence of our liaison to escape. Not too much of it, at any rate.
          Now, with our daughter safely married to a good man and pursuing her career as a concert pianist, and our son a graduated engineer testing his relationship with a new employer, as well as a new lover, we find ourselves face to face once again, as alone as when we started.
          Of late, some of those forgotten words have occasionally begun to reappear in our lexicon, although not as naively spoken as then. We have successfully maneuvered the shoals and now sail a following sea toward newly discovered ports, fully aware there was never the Forevermore we envisioned as a young couple. But perhaps we’ve discovered another sort… one designed specifically for those bearing the scars and bruises of a well-lived life, silver in their hair, and a shuffle in their gait.

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Covering someone’s life in something under 700 words seems a little abrupt. Yet, what more needs to be said? Would it strengthen the piece to involve the reader in the narrator’s career, hobbies, and the like? I think not. Let me know what you think.

Please: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. And keep on submitting your work to publishers and agents. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to City of Rocks, my most recent book.


The next book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines is scheduled for release on August 28 of this year. Abaddon’s Locusts follows sometime in the first quarter of 2019.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.

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