The gift of oratory
“It’s like next door the house is bereaved not just the people; full of things half-done; full of gaps where she should be. It’s made me sad.” Leon has been waiting at the window for Rebecca to come home from work, eager and ready.
Rebecca is silent.
“It’s full of empty bits; things that’ll never be finished.” To him the thought is like a path through a hidden autumn garden of paling flower heads and crisp leaves. He follows Rebecca through into the kitchen: “It was like a smell that transports you; a deep sense of loss.”
Back to him, Rebecca is washing dishes he has left. She says nothing.
Speaking he realises he is a whirling dancer that breaks a partner’s tooth by accident; a glad hug breaking glasses in your pocket. A cloying scent gone on too long. ‘I fell in love what how you speak’ she’d once told him.
A proud little boy wanting claps for his cleverness. The words are not a gift to her but a burden.
“How was your day?” he says, too late.
He is speaking and she is crying.
“I am listening,” he says but all political careers eventually end in failure.