One…two…three…four… Count with me. She stretches out her withered hands, splotched with the brown marks but also with life. With effort, she picks them up and puts them back down, a simple, slapping motion. And out of the mouth, which is in the place where the wrinkles converge, comes a soft, unsure voice that increases…
The house was heavy with smells of damp. We stamped the snow off our feet as we entered the door she had entered for years, shaking awake the layers of dust deep in deserted slumber. She twisted the blinds and let the slanted lines of the sun eat hungrily at the pale wall. The room, though cleared of most furniture, was thick with the sense that in earlier days, this room had seen life.
I watched the music notes fall to the floor as she wiped off the record of the reigning king of rock.
A flash of shoes with a three inch heel-
of a high waist skirt that twirled through the air of a lamp lit room;
of a hand that held the man she loved long before she was even old enough to date, of a smile, easy and charming, illuminated by the laughter on the face of the woman who held his dreams;
a song, new then and now familiar, echoing throughout the walls of a freshly painted, brand new home.
They swayed and stepped to the music’s rhythm, each note stomping out the thoughts of war or loss that still burned in their sleep, each swirl celebrating- each other, the prosperous future, and the music that filled their house and hearts.
The record was packaged in a box marked, “To Sell”, and the memory fell back to dust. She stood and shook off the recollection, along with the loneliness that came in its wake. I sealed the box and pushed it toward the door, nearly tripping over a faded black box as I went.