the luckiest man on the planet
The cruel chirping of Monday’s alarm ripped through the house. It didn’t wake a soul. That duty was left to the children. They shook Dad from a blissful dream. It was a fantasy. A fantasy about mad passionate love making with a woman far out of his reach. His wife. She slept at arms length but between the dogs, the kids, the jobs, the commitments she was every bit as unattainable as something hanging on a teen’s wall. Of course the man was a primate at heart and this angel was like water in his hands which only served to swell his desire.
Beyond the dream he was faced with reality. His job. His profession.
Why do we spend 60 hours a week at our job and less than 20 with our family? Why don’t I make more money? Why can’t I help my mother, my father? What is my wife thinking? Who is whispering in her ear about the life she deserves?
As he folds the silk tie into a Windsor knot these questions dance through his mind. Not for long though. A curly haired brunette on new legs arrives at his bedroom door in all her nude glory. It’s his two year old daughter. He hurries her back to her room and against her tiny will and gets her dressed for the day.
Both of his girls will spend much of their day with other people. Another blow to the man’s reality. They cannot afford to have mom stay at home. That’s the world today. He ships them off everyday as though they are more a burden than a blessing. some days they are with Nana and others they attend a local daycare. He hated pushing them out the door each morning and this morning neither girl wanted to go.
As he hustled his youngest down the steps his phone began to sing. It was a factory ringtone that he hadn’t had the time or desire to change. pulling it off the night stand he saw two missed calls. One from his boss and one from his brother. Two men who worried him more than those little girls ever could.
Frank just couldn’t pull it together. That was the man’s brother. It was loan here, heartbreak there and the guy was always on the bad end of his own decisions. Two DUIs had made him nearly impossible to hire at a decent wage and the abandonment of his student loan obligations hurt his credit. It was another layer of stress and worry in life’s lasagna of responsibility.
He worked his way down the steps admiring the pictures along the stairwell. Big moments framed up as motivation. Life requires intense motivation if you plan on doing it well. The babies, the dogs, his grandmother, they all smiled at him on his way into the twisted and one sided exchange of time for money.
Frank smiled because he didn’t want to scream. Then he thought to himself
‘How did we get tricked into this? Pulled off the family farm and stuck into a cubicle miles from those most important to us. From primal beasts to neutered, voiceless little ants attempting to shoulder burdens 10x our size. Burdens that have nothing to do with our own personal lives. In fact, like robots, we are programmed to disregard our personal lives at work.’
At the foot of the steps there was small oak cabinet that held photo albums and crafts made by the girls. It was one of many baubles Frank had purchased with his hard earned money. On top of the oak cabinet was a collection of dolphins. They varied in size and composition ceramic, steel, wooden, silver, and mother of pearl. She loved dolphins.
Rounding the corner to the kitchen he was leveled by the sight. The air was stolen from his lungs by the same kleptomaniacle beauty that stole his heart, his mind and his soul.
The morning sunlight was gold strewn across the kitchen. Cut into thin filaments that fell along the counter tops, the rich Birchwood kitchen table and reflected off the stainless steel oven. The angel who stood among the light worried the sun. For her hair, even tousled by sleep, was more brilliant than its heavenly work.
His power source, his inspiration stood before him with slanted sleepy lids that failed to contain her luminous cobalt blue eyes. His wife. His portion in life. Her warm cheeks set higher as she smiled but the radiance of her eyes would not be denied. She wore a grey tee shirt that fell just far enough to cover her pink underwear.The hair was kept out of her face by a blue bandana that was rolled and tied around her blonde hair.
In that moment he fell into her lips and watched the world change around him. He felt her wind under his wings. He realized that the burden was simply a snapshot, a slice of existence in comparison to the life he had built with a goddess. She gave him two blushing cherubs and decided to become one of this earth, with him, the luckiest man on the planet.
Johann Eleazar Schenau Gestörte Familienidylle