He’s drawn to it by an overwhelming urge. There is no outside pressure, no previous knowledge, just a magnetic attraction to danger. From a distance he can easily identify vulnerability, the way this precious obsession was kept hidden from him. He must explore it, he must know what happens if he approaches. He pulls all other distractions aside and focuses on this one desire. Danger is sure to follow, but the temptation is too great. He has no experience in pain, real gut wrenching pain, therefore he has nothing to fear. He gets closer and extends his hand. Hungry for life he licks it, ignoring the screams that fill the background. She frantically runs to him, pulling him away from the one uncovered outlet in the entire floor. How did he find it, how did he push all things aside to get to it? She didn’t care, all she knew to do is thank the heavens.
On a return from a hard day’s work, he finds her weeping uncontrollably. He thinks to himself of all the things that could have gone wrong. He searches for his son, who is playing happily behind the distraught mother. He looks him over, no scratches, no Band-Aids, no head wounds and no obvious deformity.
“Did he get hurt?”
She bawls louder, dropping her head in her hands. He looks over again at his son with only one shoe.
“Oh honey, I know they were cute but he’ll have other shoes.”
She opens her eyes wide, stops sobbing and hides her lips as she stares at him. He puts down his keys, takes off his shoes, takes off his coat as he processes what could have it been.
“I’m sorry honey, I guess it was a really bad day.”
She says nothing but looks over at her son and gently strokes his head. The baby boy with his hair standing to one end and his pants on backwards shows his six teeth and fakes a cough.
“He looks fine.” In trying to soothe her and change the conversation he continues, “How was the shopping spree, did you get a new scarf?”
She holds her breath, clenches her teeth and looks up at him with teary red eyes.
“I guess it was a disaster huh? Instead of fun.”
She kisses her sweet baby boy’s forehead and in between taking deep breaths she explains.
“I had him on my hip looking around and I bent over to open up the drawers below to look through the scarves. It was so embarrassing. I’m never going back, I’m so stupid.” She returns to her fit of crying.
He lifts up the boy checks him over again, puts his arm around her and says, “Well its all done right? You’re home.”
“I bashed his head, John. I bashed his head.”
He hugs his boy to notice a slight pink line on his forehead.
“I bent down and bashed his head on a table.” She cries. He laughs and the baby boy makes bubbles with his mouth.
Her legs sore and scratched revealed her love. The sweet and gentle walk they took together ended in unexpected pain. She tried to relieve some of her loved one’s pain. She nursed him and cared for him. She served him his medicine and loved him even when being near him would hurt her. After weeks of patience tested her and she subdued the monster within daily, the end of that season drew near. Her legs would finally heal and his leg would be relieved from the sting and swelling. The hornet’s plan failed and the dog and master lived happily once the vet removed the cone from his head.
Weakened is the human body, made fragile by this one thing. Suddenly every bone and muscle makes a noise and the aches turn life into slow motion. Lack of sleep and rest is first blamed. The next day a new weight begins to invade your body, one you cannot hold up. Your chest caves under the pressure and you begin to show signs. The warnings just make you want to toughen up, to beat this thing before it strengthens. You set your mind to strengthening thoughts, keep it occupied with more important things. Another day and the cold or the hot are uncomfortable, the food tasteless, the people annoying and though a sunny day may beckon you outside, you want to hide. The delight of the moment becomes resting under a blanket while another meets your whiny demands. Nothing takes down the strong man like a cold and so in fact what you had planned falls to the side, all to yell at the body, yes you can.
She stands filled with pride among her friends. The rush of wind that preceded her arrival was nowhere in sight. She holds her drink to view as she smiles. Amazed at her beauty they stare at her. She’s funnier than she’s ever been. She is the center of everyone’s attention. She looks in the bathroom mirror to perfect the perfected, when she sees lipstick on her teeth. She quickly wipes it off to notice the stain of spit up on her pink blouse and the cereal in her hair. She cleans herself up and breathes deeply. She pulls on her skirt to notice the freshly shaved legs are bleeding. She dabs off the blood with a moist paper towel. Her face now red she concedes that perfection is elusive. As she walks away determined and filled with perseverance, she drags the laces of a brown shoe and the bow of a black one. The rushing wind of hurry prevails once more.