The Mess


The minimal warmth in the cramped semi-darkened room is moved by a very small breeze that comes in via the space between the wall and the baseboard that has separated due to the passage of time.  Happened a number of years ago, 5 or 6 as I recall.  There are similar spaces in the windows, despite the fact that the windows were put in only a year or two ago.

The space, the whole room was filled with a million odds and ends but was dominated by a few pieces of furniture. The large kelly green sofa, roughly 7 feet long and maybe 4 feet high was bookended by two tables.  It was surprising that the small tables dominated the scene on that side of the room.  But the reason was a simple one.  The mess on both tables was cluttered to the point of near impossibility.  Dishes on top of books on top of newspapers on top of old mail and take out menus on top of an old Encyclopedia Brittanica from 1979, book 8 ,Edward to Extract.  And that was just one pile, there were a number of others. The two people did not think of themselves as messy or dirty.  They were both busy people around the house and out of it, thats what they told themselves. But they were just telling themselves that to avoid having to tell one another that the mess had to be dealt with.

They were not really that busy.

The coffee table was as much of a mess as the small tables were, but the piles were smaller.  The larger table held as much mess as the two smaller tables but the larger surface area made it look less cluttered. The couple, curiously, looked nearly as much a mess as the tables were they had put their stuff.

He wearing almost all black, though upon closer inspection much of the clothing he wore was covered in lint, hair, and dust with the occasional food stain, which gave him a mottled nearly greyish appearance upon closer inspection. His socks had been white at one point but after years of neglect had taken on a yellowish aspect.  She wore an old pink robe which was a bit threadbare with two buttons missing on the front and several pulls in the fabric making it look like small tufts of hair growing in random laces out of her.  The nightgown underneath it was worn thin from years of wear and was a bleached light blue with a few small tears noticeable near the fringe and at the neckline.  His hair was graying and stuck out in odd directions, looking somewhat like a Salvador Dali version of the crown of the statue of liberty, and her hair fell limp and flat and looked much like brown dyed spaghetti stuck to the top of her head.

The light in the room comes from a number of places, but none of them are bright, none blaze bright enough to give even the slightest hint of warmth.  The flickering light from the television blinks a bright green and white, white being the color of a mans clothes, and green being the background color behind him as he moves through an otherwise empty space.  The glare from the lamp is the brightest thing in the room, but does not impart enough light to brighten the room much beyond the 3 or four feet around it.  There is a minute amount of background light from the kitchen which is noticeable only if you actually look in that direction.

The sound of an air cleaner is the prevalent sound in the area, the low hum and the fan being about the only sounds in the room, if only for a moment.  The TV, showing the man in white on the green background shows the man walking towards us.  After a few seconds he starts to talk and the sound of his voice, deep but quiet comes in short staccato bursts.  The volume is low enough on the television where his voice is discernible but the words he speaks are not.

The temperature in the room is dropping steadily, due in part to the drafts, but also due to the fact that it is winter.  The temperatures on this portion of the globe generally drop to below freezing every night here, and the wind is howling. That would normally only affect those outside, but this night is different.  The temperature drops inside as well.  The boiler which had been giving the two of them fits with its inability to work properly decided now would be a good time to not work at all.  No one at fault.  Except them, of course.  Not enough money to buy a new one, so the couple lived with what they had and did their level best to save money to get a new one at some point.  They didn’t have enough money to get one now, but it looked like they would have to find it regardless, or freeze and suffer through a frozen night?  Week? Winter? Neither of them could tell from their vantage point.

These people need help…

____________________

That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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