Solidarity in a Small Town

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This may not fit the criteria of Literary Fiction, but I thought it was beautiful. It is a brief glimpse into the mind, heart, and soul of a young woman who has lost interest in the essence of life due to the loss of love.

Submitted: October 18, 2010

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Submitted: October 18, 2010

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She paced the small space of her new apartment waiting for something to happen. Night after night she watched and waited for something that would never come. Out of her bedroom window she could only see the light emanating from the nuclear power plant, and a bland Midwestern corn field.
 
She was lonely. Separate. Unjustified and void. She thought about trying to talk to one of the building’s other tenants, and then decided against it. She thought to herself, “What could I possibly have in common with these people or with anyone for that matter”. She spent minute after hour after day in the vast existence of introspection. Albert Einstein called this time “I time”. There is no was no way to judge this incident in linear terms. Age became unimportant as time went by. It could have been years or maybe only hours, but the time she spent alone felt eternal.
 
She used to lay in bed with an older man. He taught at the local community college, and she thought he was the most interesting person she had ever met. He seemed poetic, romantic, intelligent, and perfect. The heart can so easily fool the mind when it comes to the imaginary idea romantic love. He turned out to be worse than the others. The two were happy for a short time, and in that span of existence time flew. She would drink expensive beer with him, and make fierce and desperate love to him. Like all flames his burnt out too. Leaving her even more jaded than she was before.
 
She went back into her bedroom to check her phone even though she knew what she would find: no messages. Wasn’t she intelligent? Beautiful? Successful? What man wouldn’t find her irresistible?  None of those superficial aspects of her mattered; she felt like a ghost. She was a shadow of a human and everything felt meaningless. She wondered if anyone even noticed her anymore.
 
She woke up every morning promptly at six just before the blare of her cheap alarm clock. She made a pot of coffee, yet never drank it. She was habitually odd; consistent in her inconsistency. She smoked hand rolled cigarettes and they made her hands appear to be those of woman twice her age. For though she was young, her heart had aged.
 
She drove twenty miles every morning flipping through talk radio stations hearing, but never really listening. She placed a placid mask over her sorrow so no one could sense her immense solitude. She did well in her studies yet always appeared distracted. Everyone she worked with found her to be quite cordial. She was the trickster; she was Pan; she was Loki. No one ever saw through her disguise.
 
She fell into dreamless sleep night after night to the sounds of old French or black and white movies. Her heart was still fiercely romantic though it felt withered and cold. He was gone. She was gone. Everything had slipped away and sadly she never noticed.


© Copyright 2018 Leigh Nethers. All rights reserved.

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