Monday, September 8, 2014

The Silence of Solitude: A Short Story

She reveled in the glory of having absolutely nothing to do after a long day of working on her feet. She could hardly believe it-nothing-she had no responsibilities, no kids, no husband, just the dogs and herself to worry about for the night. The only decision facing her was to decide what to do with this rare nothingness. It was completely new to her.

The dogs greeted her with their usual vigor. She sat down on the stair and allowed them to worship her like she was their queen. Doggie slobber and white hair were her reward for returning home and never felt so good, as they attached themselves firmly to her black work clothes. The house remained untouched, not a dish in the sink, and a pristine counter top void of it's usual smeared finger tips and crumbs from a hasty snack. "I could get used to this," she thought.

The TV clicker beckoned her from the comfort of the sofa and ottoman, like they knew that they were her companion for the night and they were ready for her. She fed the dogs, poured herself a glass of white wine and kicked off her shoes along with the stressful day she had hours before completed. Hunger tapped her on the shoulder and she remembered-she had hardly ate all day-the result of the pace of her schedule. But she hadn't thought about it until now. "What to eat?" she pondered. It then occurred to her that she was the only one who cared about the menu.

A quick scan of the pantry revealed something she hadn't consumed in YEARS...

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

After a brief, "can I really eat that?" moment, she began to prepare the at one-time favorite feast. She was practically giddy with excitement, as she prepared the dish. She flicked on the TV, excellent company while she cooked along with her dogs at her feet, she completed what tasted like the most perfect macaroni and cheese ever! After dinner she retired to the family room and crumbled into her plush sofa. The dogs were only too happy to accompany her, they had no judgments on her TV show of choice.

She got lost in her favorites, thanking God for On Demand TV and catching up on missed episodes. She wasn't sure if it was the wine, the food or the physical exhaustion but her eye lids felt like accordion shades being let down with a string. She brushed her teeth then retired to her bed, lights out in complete silence except for the hum of her ceiling fan ready to drift off....when she listened to the silence.

The quiet kept sleep at bay and she began to think about her family.

Sure it was nice to have a few hours to herself, but is this what life would be like without them? Suddenly she felt lonely and in her silence she decided that the life she has with them in it is the true reward after a long, stressful day. She never again would complain about it. She knew how to block out the sounds of the day and to find peace amid the madness.

And that is the only solitude she decided she needed.

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