MAGPIE TALES: The Gaze of Ralphie
Mitchell held Ralphie in his palm and said, "The only loved one that has never failed me."
He could not remember a day without him, fitting since Ralphie was the present his father brought his mother the day she learned she was expecting Mitchell. His mother had little use for this "trinket" as she called it, and had hidden it in an obscure drawer to avoid choking hazards until Mitchell was five. It became his favorite companion that he talked to when he heard his parents' shouting voices from behind the closed doors of the house.
Looking at Ralphie, Mitchell's mother grabbed his hand, smiling as she said, "Well, I guess you'll have no one left to blame now, will you?"
"No one but myself, as usual..." he replied, but she had already weakened and her hand dropped to the floor.
"What a horrible way to say goodbye," his Aunt Arlene scolded from the other side of the ICU as the monitors began squaking and Mitchell ran from the room, feeling it was the only way to have a farewell with his mother since it summed up their entire relationship. He rushed to the small break room where he stuck Ralphie in a microwave for 35 seconds. Taking Ralphie out, he held his beloved friend in his hand, taking in the ivory warmth of his closest companion.
All these years later, Mitchell stood by the sink reading the letter from the latest beloved to abandon him. The words had been written in different arrangements by a series of previous authors through the years. "I really wanted it to work out, thought it would work out, but we both know this is what is best. You always turn left, when I want you to turn right."
Mitchell crumpled the letter and then unfolded it, wondering if he should iron it before filing it away somewhere. Before tacking that task, he held Ralphie in his hand, admiring his shining ivory hues and almond shaped eyes staring up at him with neither sympathy nor judgment, only the blankness to give him the strength to write a new chapter.
Labels: Magpie Tales