by D.B. Nicely
A book of poetry in his right hand, a bottle of whiskey in his left. He letsÂ his back crash into the pale yellow wall, the whiskey sloshing in theÂ bottle, and he allows gravity to ease him down with his jacket rising up,Â bunching at his shoulders. He is slouched in the corner beside the doorframeÂ that separates the hall from the kitchen. Beth appears next to him on hisÂ right and he notices their shoulders are touching. He stares at the poem,Â glancing at her only from the corner of his eye, but concentrating onÂ neither.
“So, Jack, you going to read me some poetry?”
She stands and walks through the door frame. He loses her in the brightÂ loudness of it all.
“Fuck it” he thinks.Â He pivots laying his back on the floor and his feet on the wall and beginsÂ to read aloud.Â He is screaming the words now, sliding around on his back, pushing off theÂ walls and leaving black scuff marks from his shoes.
Beth runs in.
“What are you doing?” she says. “You’re leaving marks on the wall.”
He grabs her wrist, and raising slightly, he pulls her close, his lipsÂ brushing her ear.
“A solace of ripe plums seeming to fill the air. They taste good to her.”
She pulls away from him, amused and puzzled.”Â What, you don’t like Williams?” he says. “Maybe that was a bit cheesy.”Â He sends the book sailing behind him with the pages fluttering and permitsÂ it to slam into the wall with a startling thud and drop to the floor.
“What am i doing?! This is a party! I need to dance!”
He rolls backwards over his right shoulder and onto his feet. With head heldÂ high, he staggers chest first through the crowd in the kitchen and into theÂ foyer. He opens the door that leads outside and as he steps through, Beth’sÂ voice catches up to him; “What are you doing?! The music is in here!” JackÂ spins on his heel to face her. The moon is spraying light upon his back andÂ illuminating the fall landscape stretching beyond him. “You have it allÂ wrong darling. The real music is out here” and with a slight bow and a swingÂ of his arms he shuts the door. She is left standing at the edge of theÂ kitchen, unmoving as the crowd and the music roar behind her.