Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The Tragedy

The telephone was swirled through the air before being struck with force against John’s head. Had it been a modern telephone constructed from light synthetic materials I’ve no doubt the result would have not been fatal but this telephone was of the generation that were solid, heavy and cumbersome with old-fashioned dials accessible only to finger nails or pencils, you know, the sort of telephones seen in old black and white films from the ‘40’s. As one of the few telephones in the vicinity it was frequently in use, though I can never remember it being anything but polished and pristine sitting high on a table in the living room like a statue on its pedestal. Except, of course, when it was used to bludgeon John to death. The sound it made as it connected to bone has never left me, or the horror on my grandmother’s face as realisation dawned through her drunken stupor at what she had done. They were both drunk. My grandmother and John. Fights were not uncommon. And this, quite simply, was a fight which ended in a tragedy.
But a tragedy for whom? John? Undoubtedly. A violent death, I suppose, can’t be considered anything other than tragic. Yet I have neither grieved his, nor considered it tragic. That’s because John’s death never really distressed me. I mean nothing emotional. No tears, no anger, no dramatic cry of ‘Why? Why? Why?’ Not then, not now. But how can I remain so unemotional knowing what I know? From the perception of a seven-year-old child watching her grandmother strike a fatal blow a certain numbness is expected, but I am no longer a child. I am an adult, forty something- old, and my numbness to those events has changed to impassiveness. I am older, wiser, capable of objective thought yet why can’t I pinpoint the emotion that would help me to close this chapter in my life.
Perhaps the tragedy is mine. Witnessing death at an early age and being left with its legacy of images and memories that demand a reaction I cannot give. Memories that in the course of time have not faded to nothing but remain persistent and haunting as the images in the darkness, that despite my best intentions, do succeed in making me wince.
I have feelings after all, even if it is of guilt.

Explains why I don't do comedy, huh?

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