Noon Adder

Wren on January 8th, 2009

Noon Adder reclined on her beige Goodwill couch, her bags from the nursing home partially blocking her view of the basketball game on the brand new tv. “I’m home. We’re fine,” she monotoned into her cellphone. Her pudgy legs lined up like logs, crinkling copies of Southern Living and Mother Earth News. She hadn’t regarded her face and body in a mirror since the accident. But she knew if she had, she’d see her mother’s flabby, atrophied arms, her father’s gray hair showing in the roots below her dye job and her aunt’s haunched, frail frame.

Bare, fingerprinted walls ping ponged light from the one den window. As the tv crowd cheered a basket, Curtie shuffled from the bathroom, tracking a diagonal path past Noon Adder, grazing her suitcases. “Sorry-I’m sorry.-Not-used-to-stuff-being-there.-Glad-you’re-home,-though.-Let-me-know-if-I-can-help-you-unpack.-Sorry.”

“Curtie, don’t apologize,” Noon Adder rolled, annoyed. “I’m on the phone.”

“Sorry.-Ha!-I-did-it-again!” He pivoted and marched to his room, so as not to be underfoot. But what did that mean if Noon Adder never left the couch? Although he was nearly her age and still wealthier, he could not figure out how to act like anything but a timid pup.

Noon Adder pointed her lazer sights on the game, the only stimulation in the drab room. “I’m home. We’re fine,” she nailed the words to her receiver as if she were hanging a shingle. After some seconds, she said goodbye, clipped the phone closed and upped the volume on the game.

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