Tuesday, April 10

Paving Stones

She blinked furiously, involuntarily struggling to swallow. She needed to think without tears fogging up the view and scrunching mountains into molehills. The reasons. They were the important things. Not reason, that treacherous bog but reasons. Was she doing this for the right reasons? That was all she needed to focus on. Using reasons had got her this far. She didn't know what other signposts to use for this ultimate decision that was proving so impossibly difficult.

She knew she couldn't keep waiting for something to happen. Hoping somehow to know when she was finally faced with the immediacy of absence, was left communing with a bunch of inanimate cells, pretenders to the throne. How did one know these things? Would there be a sign? Poignant last words maybe. It seemed fitting. Mumbled extractions of promises by the dead governing the rest of wretched lifetimes. Didn't the best movies dictate it? But the doctors, those grim purveyors of reality, had ruled that out. "Don't expect miracles. Comatose patients who haven't come out of it in half a year are not going to get up all of a sudden and be themselves." And if you're not going to come back and be yourself, what are you gonna be? she asked him silently, stupidly praying he'd answer. Vegetables can't hear, she reminded herself. Letting him go was the only thing she could do for him. Wasn't the hope of something better the best possible reason?

The thing that scared her was the shadow of selfishness. Just that subtlest suggestion that she was doing this for herself and not for him. It was true it would liberate her. But liberate her from what? From the struggling hope of someday. The nobility of the griefstricken but steadfast survivor, the sympathy and love lavished on her by everyone she knew. Liberate her to what? Endless nightmares, lashings of guilt. An irritated conscience. Irritated but never pearl-productive. Wasn't the acceptance of her own inevitable private darkness the best possible reason?

She got up briskly. There could be no farewells, no promises of eternal love. One did not kiss a tomato goodbye. She pulled the plug.

10 comments:

Inspissated Gloom said...

Apparently, the tomato has made the road pretty uncooperative and taxing for you, eh Flaff?
Strangely enough I can relate to this! :)

Good Work, Soldier!

Tabula Rasa said...

pull the plug on a tomato -- get the soup off the boil.

Revealed said...

@bm: Catch 22 hangover still? :)

@TR: I actually did think of adding a culinary passage but something told me it would be hard to manage it in this context :). Life is made up of these hard decisions!

Inspissated Gloom said...

I'd rather have Catch-22 hangovers than have tomatoes bothering me! :p
Let's call it tomato-hangover!;)

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

A quote from Louis L'Amour. Inspires respect.
And the determination to do without men.

On the other hand, there's that tomato.

Revealed said...

@bm: *What* is wrong with tomatos? Why does everyone persecute them so. *Sigh*.

@AQC: Seriously, tomatos are people too! *draws herself up in quivering indignation and from the imposing height of her full 5'1.25" (in socks) sighs in resignation but with deep reproach*

Inspissated Gloom said...

Oh! I hate tomatoes!
I feel like one rotten tomato myself! :(

wiseling said...

I have an interesting story about how I was scarred by tomatoes as a child. (shudders)

wiseling said...

Ofcourse, I do know that tomatoes are far from what you were getting at... if it makes you feel any better, if you let a tomato stick around too long, it gets rotten and makes you ill. Hence, one must stick with non-perishable food items. Also, in other interesting tomato facts, I was having a random conversation with him and he mentioned that if you sleep with a tomato, you fall sick. Wish I had known that in school.. heh..

Revealed said...

@bm: Tsk. Weird hang-ups.

@wiseling: Not you too. Why won't people leave my poor tomato alone :P.

Like the non-perishable angle though ;)

And why *anyone* would sleep with a tomato......where angels fear to tread :D