8.24.2010

"alas, Ophelia..."


He lay in a tangled mass on the marble floor of the foyer landing, all akimbo, alone, confused and shocked by the fall. Raising his head, he looked around with gauzed eyes, trying to find his senses. The first thing he recognized were the four streaks of blood on the wall of the stairway, he must have reached out with his left hand to slow his fall, but, alas, to no avail, apparently. He pushed himself up to sitting against the cold varnish of the front door and unfolded his legs from beneath him, straight out. Good, they still worked. Bones of the legs were hard to break and harder to heal...
Warily, he reached up to his face to brush the hair away from his eyes and felt the blood matted mass.
"Oh, shit", he said to the dark and to himself and to the reality of what had happened. He blinked his eyes till they were clear of the shock and stared at the finger tips of his left hand. They were shredded, bloodied and sore, but nothing more. The blood from his forehead ran down the side of his nose, over his lip and dripped onto the front of his shirt. He licked his lips with some auto response to the trauma and the cloy of the sweet, coppery blush of his leaking life made his tongue recoil and his lips purse like they did when he was a child and tasted an unripe persimmon plucked from the tree in his parents back garden... but that was so very, very long ago and this is the now and he's hurting and scared and his nerves are starting to come back to life and he's shaking and he realizes that the whole time, he's been purring, like his cat, that dreadful cat that tangled itself between his legs and caused him to plummet like a clown falling out of a tree down the stairs, crashing to the cold grey marble of the floor. The marble floor, ah, he'd payed dearly for that marble floor, intended to impress the few and far between visitors to his grim old pile, but now part of the machine of his misery and woes...
"Damned cat, god-damned cat", he whispered to himself and the stillness, that sound void envelope that follows the mighty crash...
He sat in the dying twilight that crept through the windows of the foyer hall, recounting the fall as his senses more and more returned to him. He remembered feeling weightless, feeling like glass, feeling like a tinkling bell as all connection with solid things fell away from him and he felt like an angel hovering over some new Madonna, like all the world has been whisked away in some sideshow barker's lament, like, like falling... like one of those recurrent dreams where he would fall and fall and fall, and suddenly awake just before he hit the ground in a sickening crunch, feeling every bone shatter, every muscle ripple, every cell stop and rebound in some instantaneously everlasting event... but this time the dream continued and he remembered the sound of hitting the floor, the sound of his body stopping in an instant of time, but the sound continued in his mind, squeezed down through some funnel of the brain until it became some insane, shrill ringing and then, the darkness... and quiet.
By now, his head was throbbing and, although he had regained most of his senses, the trauma was still in control. He looked down between his legs. He'd wet himself. One slipper was missing. His glasses were nowhere to be seen, and his right thumb seemed to be dislocated and was now starting to announce itself like his drunken ex-wife did when she arrived fashionably, albeit unaccountably late, for every and any party...
"I must try to stand", he said aloud to no one... and try he did, and succeeded, although on rubber legs he stumbled to the dining hall doorway and felt life and blood returning to his limbs, he saw Ophelia, dear, dear Ophelia, sitting on the dining table, licking her front paw and gazing at him over her task, as some stern schoolmaster might do over his spectacles at some errant student.
"Thou art the cause of my misery, thou vile, vile beast", he thought, but reached out to her and rubbed her head and stroked her ears and loved, again, the smoothness of her fur and was able to forgive, at least for now. Walking through the dining hall to the scullery to find some water and cloths to cleanse his wounds and some strong drink to regain his bearings and thought,
"How lucky is that cat, that she didn't kill me..."





3 Comments:

Blogger E-ville said...

Lovely. I like it.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Mr Lonely said...

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6:15 AM  
Blogger Mr. Bingley said...

That's why I have a dog...

7:36 AM  

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