Cold, Apathy and Other Ills.
His portly belly hugs the worn blue t-shirt, pale skin peeking through a cigarette hole burned above the belly button. Grunts and belches interspersed with a cheer here and there when his football team scores, can be heard across the flat and beyond.
A pungent nicotine smell floats in the air. “I’ll quit soon,” he says time and again.
Everything he plans to do resides in never never land. The millions he’ll make, the studies he’ll undertake, the body he’ll acquire. The list goes on.
“Loosen up,” he says to Linda. Her exasperation shows on her face. What seems a lifetime of hopes dashed like waves against a rock are now reflected in minute lines around her eyes. Sometimes she thinks the lustre that showed in her dancing eyes is now more of a dead echo of its former self.
She has become rounder, a little plump, softer even. Her once pert chest now nuzzles benignly against her ribcage. Her wavy, brown hair is swept away from her face and held in a pony tail at the back of her head. Her dreams are only awakened with the thought of another place, another life.
In the routine that is work hours and commuting, seeing friends and domestics, films and walks, time flies by. But when she listens closely, it sounds like the tick tock of a bomb about to explode.
Sometimes, while eating and talking, Sam and Linda convey togetherness. It is in rituals shared, habits formed that they connect. Other times, in glances caught, there isn’t much but melancholy, wistfulness.
Of the future, who can tell? A dappled rainy day with the sun shining through, or a stormy night complete with gale force winds. Who knows?