Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Entry #26

"Two Lamps"
by Terri Welch


The house is so quiet now, Dear. The glow from those two old lamps we bought at the flea market so many years ago is the only light here. Do you remember the woman who sold us those lamps? You felt compelled to buy something from her stand. Her patched frock and worn shoes somehow betrayed the aristocratic gentleness of her manner. We paid more than the lamps were worth and then wandered arm in arm along the pier in the sunshine, telling each other her story. You said she was a widow whose husband had lost all in the crash of '29, before she lost him. You loved to think up these tragic, romantic stories about strangers.
We were so young then, and so in love.

Now I am the widow. What story will they make up about me? The sad, rich woman who lives alone in the big house on the hill…

Tomorrow our home will be filled with people. The children are coming, and the grandchildren. Maude will bring a quiche, bless her heart.

But tonight nothing stirs. I have only my memories for company. The dark rooms echo with traces of you. The smell of your pipe tobacco lingers with the last scent of your aftershave, but I fear that, too, will soon be gone.


Shaking herself out of her thoughts, the old woman turned off the lamps and creaked slowly upstairs, to bed.

I will see you again soon, my love.

10 comments:

Bernita said...

Quite and quietly beautiful.

Robin said...

Very touching! I agree with Bernita, beautiful...

Jeff said...

I really like this, Terri. Well done. :)

Erik Ivan James said...

Yes, a beautiful story.

skees said...

Terri,

A very moving story and beautifully written.

-John Wilson

Terri said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments :)

And thanks, Jason, for providing the inspiration.

sandra said...

Beautifully painted picture of a loving couple.

Lyn said...

Very touching. I pictured her writing this note to her husband - maybe a daily ritual during her grief? I don't think she will soon see him though. She has strength - and someone has to tell stories about her living alone in the big house on the hill, don't you think? :-) Good writing. Lyndon

Bhaswati said...

So poignant. This brings across the pathos of the old lady's lonliness so well. I commend you for this one :)

jason evans said...

Terri, the paragraph, "But tonight nothing stirs" hit me hard. The loss is so fresh. She knows how quickly the remnants of person's presence fade after he or she is gone.

High marks for enjoyment and storytelling.