Monday, September 14, 2009

Jailbreak

Calloused fingers trace the smooth metal contours of the bars that contained her, her reflection swirling shadows on their surface. So much that she sees in what passed for eyes staring back at her, lost in her containment. Sands slipped through the hourglass much too fluidly, and yet the last six months streched like an eternity.

Eyelids unfurl like theatre curtains bringing memory into focus, of days walking to the melody of their laughter, the silver in her husbands hair glinting in the golden rays of sun. The anticipation of her grand daughter leaving for college, only she had missed that catching only glimpses from this cell. How she had wanted to help fold and put away her clothes, even to hug her and bid her good luck, stolen opportunities lost to the days.

Even now her love sits, watching her over the steam from his coffee cup, resting a weathered hand against hers, lending strength and comfort. He sees...He knows...the heaviness of heart that threatens to topple her. Everyday he is there, passing time on her sentence, easing the moments until her release.

Determination swells, coursing through tired fingers as she pushes against that which holds her. Muscles quiver, a faint memory of movement empowering her sole desire. You shouldn't, though he is there to steady her, concern dripping off his face begging the question of where this was going. Feet shuffle relearning old steps, carrying her slowly across the expanse...

Can I ask you a question about your laptop?

I had been watching them together in the coffee shop, so delicate, their love portrayed in the care he took in bringing her small joy. To see her now before me, asking about my computer of all things, her chair left lonely by their table... Her grand daughter needed one for school and she wanted to provide...and so she took her first steps out of a wheel chair in six months...to ask about a laptop.

For a few brief moments she is free, and despite the pain there is a new twinkle in her smile as we chat. As they turn to leave, he whispers thank you and guides her back across the room and I can't help but see a graceful couple spinning around the dance floor, one more time.

I like to think I witnessed a small miracle. Not just in her walking again, but in the love that has carried them for almost five decades.

38 comments:

Alan Burnett said...

Sweet story. The question is so unexpected it provides a great counterpoint to the sadness of the background image.

only a movie said...

So sweet.

blueviolet said...

I think there are so many moments in life that are as quick and fleeting as this, and most of us don't recognize or take the time to appreciate the beauty in them.

Lovely.

An Open Heart said...

I need to find some new words to comment on your posts....beautiful, awesome, fabulous, amazing are kind of getting abused......I will endeavor to find new words to describe my awe......

;o)
S

Ekanthapadhikan said...

That's a very sweet story.

And you do write well!

♥ Braja said...

A lifetime glimpsed in a moment....well done...i like blueviolet's comment....

Beth said...

Oh my gosh! I love how you see a story in the life that others just don't notice.

otin said...

I love the fact that you see great things in such everyday situations! I need to spoof you sometime! :)

Wings said...

Interesting. Didn't go the way I thought it was going to go. Nice.

Sande said...

That better be me in fifty years ... :)

Wondering if that couple could be afforded a copy of what you saw. Would be amazing warm moment for them I'm sure

Kay said...

the imprisonment you first speak of makes me think she is truly jailed....and then you, once again, tare at my heart strings causing the lump in my throat that fights the tears of... joy? pain? hope? I am uncertain, but one thing I know you move me. kudos.

gaelikaa said...

That was touching. With a most unexptected twist!

Nancy said...

Nice story - I can see them dancing one last time. I've been ruminating on age lately. How everything is different, but also the same somehow - inside. But eventually the body betrays us, doesn't it.

Maggie May said...

That was a lovely story. You are so good at writing them.
You seem to get beneath the things that others mightn't notice.

Goofball said...

wow

Gaston Studio said...

OMG, what a lovely story and so well told... as usual! You have a command of our language, my friend.

Baino said...

It's sweet but how did you know she was in 'jail' my mother in law would have sat there and sent my father in law over to ask the question whilst looking defenceless and wan . .Having said that, there's a couple who frequent the coffee shop where I work, she's in a wheelchair and seems slightly cogniscent but frail and sleepy. He buys her a babyccino and helps her drink it. So very sweet.

Daniel said...

So glad you could witness the scene and truly appreciate it for what it was. Too many others would have missed it. Have a great one today.

Brian Miller said...

@baino - her eyes, the way she talked about the things she missed, not straight forward but little cues as we talked. it was really only a brief chat but it really was touching.

Betsy said...

A sweet, brief moment in time...

TechnoBabe said...

I love the part about glimpsing them on the dance floor. Just a glimpse. Added a love zest.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Love comes in many forms...but enduring love, I think that is what we all wish for......

Cheffie-Mom said...

Beautiful!! Your writing is amazing!!

Protege said...

Very intriguing; I loved the unexpected ending, revealing the true meaning behind the term *jail*.
Imprisonments can come in so many shapes and forms, as can our breaking away from them...
:)

ellen abbott said...

Great little story. If we live long enough, we outlive our bodies.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Valerie said...

They don't see themselves as old or infirm, I just hope they see the beauty that you did.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Ahhh, I love that!

Ronda Laveen said...

Isn't it interesting how injury and illness spur technology and how technology assists in injury and illness. There is an unexpected symbiosis in how they are intertwined. What a nice miracle to witness.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

What can I say, except...you touched me here.

Ekanthapadhikan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madame DeFarge said...

Lovely story. You hsve a fine eye for the small, important, details in life.

Hit 40 said...

A mothers love and a grandmothers love is endless. Do not mess with their children!!! We would do anything to help them out.

The Things We Carried said...

What a great observer you are. I believe they would like to know they were "seen" through your eyes.

The Retired One said...

Awwww,Brian...that was sooo nice.
I was the Adminstrator of an Assisted Living facility for the last part of my career...you would have done some lovely writing from what I saw daily in there.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, this really touched me today. I spent a good portion of the day with my mom, who isn't wheelchair bound, but definitely has mobility issues. You so capture the feeling of so many of the people I see around her.

I love the image of the couple dancing.

Pastor Sharon said...

I was in tears, thinking she was getting ready to die. . . then when it ended with a miracle of steps and a dance across a floor of long ago. . . I smiled through the "sand in my eyes".

What a lovely story Brian! Thank you.

smiles4u said...

What a perfectly lovely story. I love how you see and capture the small miracles in your day. So many of these small miracles happen every day in each of our lives but they are so easily passed by or missed out on because we are either in such a hurry or our eyes are not open to them. I'm glad that your eyes are open!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Awwww! I love that - brought tears to my eyes and major goosebumps. Thanks for sharing that sweetness. :)