John roused himself; he had drifted off after the clerk had emphatically given her unwelcome opinion. “Just give me what I want” he’d said bluntly. Disheartened the clerk slowly retreated.
A brawl ago, John declared to his wife that he despised these delusions; but she scarcely listened anymore. Had she ever? Could it change? Was it him?
She insisted that every weekend he drag himself to a store. Sentenced to collect the next latest and greatest distraction. He blamed her, she blamed him. A house for two strangers.
Today would be different.
Trudging home there were bridges to cross.
Writing this I wanted to experiment using ‘vagueness’ with implications in the confines of a drabble. Since both are a challenge to an amateur such as myself, from the vacuum that is my consciousness, my greatest concern is whether the balance is right to allow for those implications. Perhaps it’s about time I unpack it a little.
The subject matter is hollow marriages, with three main ‘topics’.
The first is the store. It is intentionally vague/generic to convey the view that the stores are an analogous collection of material distractions that they use to ‘fill’ their hollow marriage. The protagonist is at the point where he is disconnected and can’t make distinctions anymore.
The second is around the state of the marriage. I very lightly touch on concepts like self-blame, blaming the other, breakdown of communication, delusions between the couple, and the delusions they sustain for society.
Finally the last, is the final sentence designed to allow room for interpretation, where the two main factors are the concept of ‘house’ vs ‘home’ (up until that point I’ve only made references to a house) which requires some cultural understanding, and the second is the bridge.
The bridge serves for interpretation in either/both a literal and metaphorical sense, it’s up to the reader. In an attempt to put it concisely, I see the final sentence as touching on the struggles of dealing with a hollow marriage. Will he or will he not cross the bridge(s) to home? Is the essence of the question though there are a variation of other states that a reader might consider. Such as, despite his will, can he? Does the bridge have to lead to her?