Love starts out as perfect plumbing. All pipes slanting slightly earthward. Gravity does most of the work. There are no scratches. There is nothing wrong with the world. All is up to code.
This never happens to plumbers.
The plumber’s world makes sense. It’s all about water and gravity and slanting pipes. You channel the water in, you channel it back out. You slant the pipes earthward a little. Gravity does most of the work.
Mine is not a plumber’s world and my world makes no sense. Marie is on the floor and my knuckles hurt.
The plumber’s life is easy. Pipes bring water in, pipes bring water back out. And there’s never any question whether it works. When you flush, the bowl empties and the waste pipe devours. New water fills the bowl ready for the next guest. As the container refills the bulb rises to shut the flow.
Or not. Clean and clear. It either works, or it doesn’t.
When it does you can feel pride and a sense of accomplishment and you render a bill. If it doesn’t, you fix it until it does and then you can feel pride and a sense of accomplishment and you render a bill. Dad’s a plumber. He doesn’t render many bills these days though.
It started plumbing enough. I loved her. Simple as that. Easy enough. No question. She was the most beautiful, wonderful, perfect girl in the world. If she had one shortcoming it was loving me, for who would?, I mean. Unless, of course, that made me perfect, too. Loved by perfection, to perfection. Nice thought, that.
And I really did. Love her. So much I could not sleep. She did though. She worked the morning shift at 7-Eleven and had to sleep, she said. She slept a perfect sleep. She slept deep chestfuls of air with not a hint of snoring which raised her chest over and over and over. Her one arm slung across her breasts, the other out and over the edge of the bed. So easily breakable.
So simple. So plumbing. Loving her. I sat sometimes on the bed, sometimes beside it, and watched her so hard that sometimes her sleep punctured and she suddenly looked at me, eyes not quite open, and said, “Hey, what are you doing?”
“Looking at you,” I said.
“Go to sleep,” she said. And did. I did not.
About Ulf Wolf
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Published November 23, 2012
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.