Monday, October 01, 2007

Every Twig is Laden

Bless the corners, he’s a-coming round the mountain, his preferred route home, avoiding the highways and byways, the shop signs and caravan parks. I, he says every time he steps triumphant through that front door, once again traversed those mountainous cuts through snowy glades and jags in order to be here with you in a state that’s purer, by far, than the state I would have arrived in had I taken a different, warmer, more urban, route. And thus he spakes, this Morton Whistler, civil servant of government depts and socials, traveller of spectacular, scary views.

And though these curved journeys were outwardly blessed by Gwendolyn, Morton’s fair and naked wife, she kept hidden her dismay at the thought of how these scenic routes kept him away from her by a matter of at least three hours every evening. Hours they could have spent together, embracing and naked, making love by the fireside and piano after the kids had gone to bed. It had, actually, bugged her somewhat for years the question of whether her husband’s protracted icy journeys were, in fact, a way of avoiding the warm embraces she so fervently craved.

Gwendolyn’s dismay was open somewhat to at least a few of the friends she kept and valued who, of similar spousal neglect and hue, were appropriately sympathetic and cooing to her hot complaints. Mine, said one, prefers women of the larger knockers. Mine, said another, runs a Scout group three evenings a week and is away during the summer. Mine, adds a third, likes to stay at work, working all hours, to bring home the crusts, the crumbs and the bacon that he thinks we expect. The point, chips in a fourth, is that we all have our crosses of burden.

And what of Morton’s spark, his journey through twinkling crevasses, through ice bright glow and steely glace? Shelves shift as he passes, the hot burst of exhaust and stabs of chemicalled poison as they slowly collapse, those icy shelves, blocking old trails, creating new grooves, every different day new and unexplored, unspoilt vistas for him to tread down, to cut a lonely path through.

Gwendolyn, her adventure: rises one morning to raise his breakfast and kids, to get them packed to school early to give her the chance, while her husband organises his hat and scarf combo, to sneak unseen into the boot of his car where she’ll remain all day accompanied only by her small knapsack of torch, book, snacks and water. Warm clothing, of course.

She is discovered minutes later when Morton throws his briefcase into the boot.


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