LJ Idol 10: Topic 11: The Blue Hour
Every day was a struggle. She knew it didn't have to be, but she preferred it that way. Clifton would have said she was being cantankerous. He would have been right and they would have laughed and laughed. Then he would pat her cheeks, cradling them like she was made of china and kiss her nose from bridge to tip.
When they were twenty she had told him it was a condescending habit, to hold her head so as if he owned her and place uninvited kisses. At 30 she would blush and feel the heat spread. The forties brought a contentment she hadn't thought possible. A decade more of his particular brand of love and there had been such solid comfort. Once they reached their sixties, their grandchildren called their little rituals 'cute'. When Clifton had gone in their 70th year, it was that she missed the most. Well that and his insistence that she made her own life harder on purpose just so she could win at something. He must have remarked that once a week for 50 years.
Of course I always have to have a challenge. Been that way forever. And why shouldn't I?
She wasn't sure if she was speaking aloud. Never was certain these days. It didn't really matter at this stage.
Stage, huh. That's a funny word. Didn't know that as I got older words would be defined as shades of themselves or altogether different.
Like love... who would have thought its meaning would change so over the years. Just like their little ritual, love had taken on new meanings as time mercilessly marched forward. Time was plodding, then became a quickened step... then a frenzied race... just as love went from heat and honeysuckle... to wine and roses... and onward through cheerios and sticky faces riding a relentless wave into dorm move in days, weddings and christenings... and now here, in this blue hour of life... now is the cold yearning. Love went from heat to yearning without a warning shot. It just slipped up on her in the dark and did its worst.
I didn't know love would be so much, so quickly. How could we share all that and not this? How can I be gripping this walker and shuffling along, without his arm at my elbow to hold me up? All my colors are fading. It's getting dark and I can't see my way.
Her joints screamed as she pulled her way to the porch. Every shuffling step brought her closer to her favorite place on Earth. They had never been able to afford a fancy house, but Clifton had made sure she had her wish of a west facing door with a big covered porch. The sun was in it's last stage of the day, falling imperceptibly behind the horizon. The dark crept over a blue sky, the summer wind covering twilight in jasmine. The sky was so blue and so deep, she thought of India ink on her mother's carpet, a childhood accident she hadn't thought of in years.
What a funny thought. I must be sleepy.
“Oh Clifton! There you are!”