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A Solitary Central Light
The spiders may keep her company. It helps to think that though I will inhabit a different continent, voiding her of my compliments, cuddles, kisses, and frustrating happiness, at least she will have our dog and the California summer crawlers that repel from the ceiling in the night. I hope they won’t bite. Or maybe a bite would help.
When we met, she didn’t know what I had in mind. I had known for a time but you don’t say those types of things when you want someone. You lean in and you whisper about now. You say Your hair is beautiful, which it is. You say Your eyes make me feel like I am swimming in space, which they do. You tell her how much you think about her when you’re not together.
After awhile, she found out. Being an educated pacifist, she found it awkward to reconcile and we argued a little, but she knew me enough then to know that I would make it real.
It is real. Not that I will be pulling a trigger, which I probably won’t, nor that I will be everyday hoping for my safety and the safety of my Marines, which resolutely I will, but simply this: I will not be home. She will be alone.
She doesn’t talk much about it now because she doesn’t want to make it more real, but I know she imagines the noiseless bedroom. She sits on the bed after I’ve left and hears my morning. She imagines when my morning has faded from weeks of Afghanistan, weeks of my morning being her night. She falls back onto the bed. She lets the dog on the bed, this time. She lets him bark at the rain. She watches the shadow of the webs starting to connect in the corners, spreading to the light in the center of the ceiling. They are so quiet.