I think there was a time when things were clearer, where the rain or snow kept the windows from fogging over fully.
I believe there was that moment when the clarity of things was just that, not less complicated, just more straightforward in the approach.
I could imagine that the kettle, raising steam in the kitchen, produced a faintly audible hiss that suggested life, a slow boil. An ineffectual whistle lisping in the other room.
I recall copies of these things, sitting here, with no photographic proof, I rely on a memory that has drowned itself in a series of superimposed fallacies. The town was a place of warmth. In fact, it might not have even been that warm. There were definitely distinct seasons in these latitudes and longitudes. And it was warm but not hot, definitely not blisteringly so. More importantly, it simply felt warm, it exuded a sense of warmth, which could be an attribute for any season.
Perhaps it wasn't raining or snowing then. Perhaps the heat of the kettle warmed the room enough so as to leave a different imprint. Or perhaps the sealed windows in the front room, where you frequently stood, looking out, betrayed a sense of warmth, leaving a slight chill. The back of your shoulders leaned quietly into the walls, drained of color.
My tea is getting cold?
I believe that was the moment - while the kettle whispered quietly - that I realized something was lost. More finite: the ceramic reaching the bottom lip, the sugar reaching a yearning tastebud. I believe.
I believe that was us... I believe that was it.
It might be a lie.
I got your note, you left it behind, on this table, right where you used to sit, across from me, as if to say I hope you get this one. It's right in front of you. You knew I was never good at finding things except for the practical things that tend to land in the exact same place every time, when, displaced.
The keys on the hook by the front door (the bowl on the dresser)
The screwdriver, Phillips, in the top dresser drawer (in the nightstand, by the tricky door hinge)
The screwdriver, flathead, in the top dresser drawer (under the kitchen sink, on the leftover paint cans.)
The scissors in the kitchen (on the bookshelf, 2nd shelf, above the desk)
The letters and the mail by the front door ( on the desk, opened with kitchen scissors)
Still, I think it took me most of the evening to see it clearly, and a handful of days to take in what was said. I'm still not for certain. Something played in the background, a mouse, a song, probably both. It was on the table. Not by the front door, not on the desk. Right across from where I usually sat, where you usually sat, right in front of me. I think this was on the table.
Can I write down a few thoughts in silence? I'll do it in pencil. In case I get it wrong.