Prompt Week 05/15/2017 – Shadow, Photograph, Darkness, Ode to Strangers, Swinging & Sliding
Ode To Strangers
I see you. I have watched you from near and far. You have not seen me though. I would have known if you had by the startle in your eyes, the slight stiffening in your shoulders, the tightening at your lips or the little tremble in your fingertips. None of you, in all the places I have watched, have spied, have studied, have ever had the slightest hint of my presence. Or, at least of my focus on you. I have not always been obscured by the darkness, though it generally began there. The shadows are my friend and co-conspirator, veiling me whilst I learn and watch, making notes in my book of you. The places you like most, the foods you order most often, the things you dislike that make your scowl. I also bring my camera with me. Just the little one most of the time. I do need the big one if I am a distance away. But, I keep it in the car behind the seat always, just in case. But, the little one fits nicely in my pocket, almost silent when I click the button to take photographs to go with my writings. I print them at home and watch with anticipation as they slide out of the printer. Full color, glossy memories of my day with you. I add them to the rest on the lines over my bed. This is so I can look on your faces as I close my eyes to sleep at night. I just lay there, tapping gently on the newest pictures and watch them swinging and sliding along the lines. A dancing mobile of all of you. Often, I smile, needing just a little bit more and I reach for the box next to the bed and spread out the contents across my lap on the blanket. The presents. One from each of you. Grandma’s ring. Father’s cufflink. Mother’s necklace. Sister’s bracelet. All wrapped up in a soft piece of velvet in the box. And in a little jar next to them, a tooth from each of you. The blood has dried almost black on them and I have to be very careful so it doesn’t flake off. They just wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t have that part of you as well.
This room, this place, these treasures are all an Ode to you, once strangers. But now you are all mine. Strangers no more. And fear not. I will find others to join you. The family will grow. Yes, the family has only just begun.