It is time, I think, watching the spot on the wall that I watch and sometimes practice not watching. It is time for her to come home. I feel grateful to face the clock, that I can know when to expect her through the door with the whoosh of air that would give me goose-flesh if I were fragile, the way she is. But my fabric is thick and stuffed. I am always warm.
She is late and I wait. I feel jealous of the bus and the dirty seats where she sits, one leg tossed carelessly over the other, her nose in a book and headphones nestled in her ears. I can’t help feeling jealous; I am alone, and I am hers; they are plastic flat seats of a common bus, with constant company.
Anticipation is torture. My fabric is tense in expectation, as when she sneezes and I imagine her staying home all week, away from work, near me all day between soup and juices and dozing naps. I know she prefers sleeping with me anyway, that I am more comfortable, more informal than the austerity of bed.
What terror it is, this stale loneliness. The room is claustrophobic. The air is dead and still. The clock ticks and I practice looking away now, because I am anxious. I would wish for a cat, but then, well – how does the adage go? “Be careful what you wish for…or something?”
Lord, now I’m talking to an empty apartment. The stools are hardly companions, so polished and unfriendly.
I fantasize a party; imagining her friends arriving and the wine, the crackers, all those sprawling people to sit here and sink into me. It grows late and I know I am fantasizing, but I can’t stop until whoosh, the door opens, and there is laughter. She is here.
With someone else – a man; I smell his cologne. One for company – at this time – is, well, nice I suppose, but probably I am being generous because she is here and I am happy and the soft air is washing over me.
They stumble across the living room, and she collapses onto me, pulling him along. I feel the voyeur; pleased and disgusted, but pleased yet. And I enfold them because I have to and I want to, because they are here and this is my duty, in all my yielding loyalty.
This post was written in response to a prompt by Write on Edge, which asked us to personify an object in 400 words or less.