On the Rocks
“He asked me why it mattered. He asked me what anything we did held any meaning at all. To who, for what?”
She stirred a drink that wasn’t there.
Her foot tapping in time to some Basie song.
“You know what I told him?” She asked with a dark red smile.
“No…” he sighed gazing away from her.
“I told him it matters simply because we are.
As we live in this moment, it matters. To prepare for the before, but not the after. He wasn’t satisfied, he needed gratification, that what he did all day long meant a damn thing to some body. ‘Well,I said, you know what honey? Maybe it do, and maybe it don’t. What matters is that you’re alive, doing something with that life, matters. Other wise, you might at well be dead.’
So you know, well, the next day they found his stone cold body floating in the river. He was full of cyanide, darling.” She laughed and drank her bitter dry air.
The man across from her, new to her morbid sense of humor, laughed awkwardly.
“Don’t mind Maybelle. She’s just, well, Maybelle” Sighed Reed
“Just maybe.” She murmured her eyes glowing a grey hazel.
She began to laugh, slowly her lonely laughter became drowned out by the pianos sharp cries.
“Please don’t frighten my date dear.” Reed patted her hand.
The young date smile, in the dim lounge, his pearly teeth dazzled in the candle light.
“No, no. Her humor is oddly refreshing. That isn’t a true story is it?” He leaned forward nervously trying to look into her distant eyes.
She was Beginning to get a lazy, dreamy look in her hazel eyes. Not large enough to be dreamy, nor narrow enough to be lazy.
The candle on the table flickered. Suddenly she was aware of its existence.
“Ah, do you exist in this world with me as well?” she whispered.
“I…I beg your pardon?” The young date turned pale.
Reed sighed. “Earth to Maybelle. Don’t drift away now.” He turned to his young date, smiling apologetically. “Forgive her.”
She stared, gazed steadily into the fire. The wax was a smooth, translucent pool. It moved ever so slightly, rippling with the flames vibrancy of life.
She thought to touch it, grasp the flame and make it a part of her.
The music became white noise.