#68 Warmth

by Steve Belanger

It is an ugly painting. I guess. Or maybe it’s beautiful. Maybe it’s a reproduction of a grand master. Maybe it’s one of those pieces you buy during the artwork sale they have down at the Ramada Inn on Route 6 every few months or so.

All I know is that I can’t take my eyes off of it. It has probably hung here in this hallway for decades and all manner of eyes have stared at it just as I am now. Tear-filled eyes with nowhere else to turn. The painting hangs on the wall, the chairs face the painting and the chairs are outside of the room. Her room.

For weeks I’ve passed by these uninviting chairs. Only occasionally has there been someone sitting in them, staring off at who knows what. But now I know. I hustled past, oblivious. My chair was inside the room, right by her bed. I rushed here every morning, as early as I could. Some days were easier than others, but that’s to be expected with these old bones. I would come in with my coffee, or on really chilly days, a cup of tea. I would tell her that her smile was all I needed to warm me up. But the tea helped. Now all I have is the tea. And this painting. I’m staring at it because that’s all I can do. It means nothing to me. And everything. If I ever see it again, I will think of her.

4 comments:

Shona Snowden said...

Nice tone, particularly in the first paragraph.

pegjet said...

This was well-written, one of the best so far.
You have an easy style.

Deb said...

Well done. Puts the reader right there, in the middle of the emotions.

Sandra Cormier said...

In light of recent events, I wish I had sat in my mother's room, staring at one of her paintings. But I was too late. Lovely piece.