Ethel’s Lonely Chair

The old lady is looking for her glasses. “Are they here? I swear I left them here. Where’s the chair? Did I leave them on the chair?”
They’re sitting in their usual spot, on top of her head, tangled in a sparse scrub of iron grey hair. Every time she finds them there, she tears them from her scalp, along with a tiny clump of hair. She winces, swears quietly, wedges them back across her pudgy nose. When she finds them, she will be depressed – heartbroken – at the state of her mental faculties.
She will moon for the days of her youth, realizing as she does that she has so few footsteps left to death. Then she faces the idea of eternal darkness. No more cats licking at her arthritic toes, no more Swanson frozen meat pies and homemade rhubarb soda on a Saturday night in front of Matlock reruns on Deja View. Her life is for nought. The meaning is gone. She has wasted an entire existence. She wonders how it ever came to this. Once, she remembers, she was a girl. She was a lovely girl, with long legs and a strong mind, a desirable bosom and an unerring sense of propriety. While all of the other girls were giving up their precious flowers in the backseats of rusted-out Chevy Novas, she was remaining pure, for the one, the only. Her prince never came.
She waited. She worked. She subsisted, but she never truly lived. All those summer sacrifices were for nothing. Now she stands, lonely, sad, and unable to stand for long periods of time. She stares at that crooked picture, and that solitary chair, beckoning her to cut it short. Take the easy way out. Let it end. Throw the rope and step up to the ceiling of your bitter reward.
He is waiting for her. Her Dark and Handsome Prince. She’s sure. Still so sure. So many other lives she’s been so happy to snuff out like so many withered candles. Some so young and trusting. Some as faded and worn as she. They all died. They all gave their blood and their lives and their screams for mercy and lenience. For what? He never came. Why would he come now? Who was she, to be so special as to catch the eye of The Maker? Maybe 50 years ago, 60 years? How long has it been since a man glanced her way with lust in his stare? Why would he come now, when she was old and broken and fat and confused. An old woman who used to be a force for the King of Kings, oh so ever long ago.
Now she knows there is no God, for her Satan never came courting, no matter how hard she tried.

6 thoughts on “Ethel’s Lonely Chair”

  1. Creepy! Is this a tease of something more to come or just something that was whispered into your ear when least expected. Someone else’s muse that crossed your path in the middle of the night, leaving you only with this? Do tell…



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