subscription by mpeonies

24 Jan

Margaret narrowed her eyes and stared a spider on the ceiling. She thought of getting up from bed, but the warm folds of her sheets were too comfortable, too loving. After all, this was the only spot in her house that provided her comfort. She had emptied out her house ever since her husband Jack passed. Now there were only a few pieces of furniture—a floral-printed couch, a small television set, and a rustic coffee table that Jack had proudly carried back from the flee market years ago. Margaret fumbled around in bed for an hour more, and finally got up. She tiptoed to the kitchen, her back roundly bent. Red mugs and white bowls of sugar sat on the table. Stacks of outdated newspapers stood on the side. Margaret had ended her subscription to the daily newspaper after Jack had lost the energy to read. She made coffee and grabbed the newspaper on top, squinting at the pain of bending her fingers. She took the left side of the couch—Jack always took the right.

Lightly turning the pages, Margaret sighed at the familiar events. She knew them all. The protest at the nearby community college. The marathon run. The shut down of the community movie theatre. She knew it all.

Then, a sudden thump sounded at her door. Margaret shook the paper out of surprise, pausing for a moment. She began to move towards the door. “Who is it?” she said. But there was no reply.

Margaret opened the door. A rolled newspaper sat on her doormat. “He…llo?” she whispered, sticking her head out of the door, looking left and right. Margaret was bewildered, but for some reason, compelled to pick it up, open it, and read it. And that was what she did. Margaret flipped through the pages, indifferent to the pain in her fingers. She read of people out there, crying, suffering, and living as she was.

After an afternoon of reading, Margaret opened the window and laid out her body on the couch. She went to sleep.

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4 Responses to “subscription by mpeonies”

  1. jadamthwaite January 24, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    I love the sadness in this and the idea of Margaret reading the same paper over and over again, the life the new paper brought her while she was reading it. Lovely.

  2. ingridfnl January 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    You have such beautiful details here: the description of sheets as loving, her red mug, the place she sits… And that perhaps foreshadowing way in which she “laid out her body”. Wonderful piece. Thank you!

  3. typicalquirk January 25, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    I love how the newspaper ties everything together. The sense of nostalgia is overwhelming.

  4. phoenix.writing January 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    That was such a sad image of her rereading the same papers over and over again, and I love the notion of a new influx of life with the new paper. I’m torn by the last image because I can’t decide if she dies or if it’s a sign of new life because she’s taken over the whole couch instead of leaving half for her dead husband. Nicely done. ^_^

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