He walked through the door. He was drunk and stunk of cigarettes and beer and wine and last weeks laundry day. I began packing up his sett of forks and knives that I had set on the table for him when I noticed the take out bag placed in his right hand and the invisible ball he always held in his left. He walked over to the table, in which I began to eat and sat down in the empty chair next to me, which remained empty, even as the left over receipts in his back pocket began to overflow onto the wooden base of the chair he sat in for the first time in months. As I ate in small bites, I barely looked up from my plate. Instead I traced the design that created a cycle around the edges of the plate. Blue vines turned red and green and purple and back to blue again until I forgot where I had started in the first place. I pondered over whether the end was to be a baby blue sky or a bright red rose. But it never really mattered as it would always end in his eyes and his lips pressed up against my hand which he held ever so gently in base of his fingertips, before letting out a sigh and making his way up to the bedrooms of our children, kissing them each on the head like he had kissed the back of my hand and fell asleep watching Sports Center on the couch in the basement, dripping the last of his beer on the rug which was stained brown.
I sat quietly watching the dinner in front of me grow paler and paler until the only thing left on the plate were the designs that grew into, less of a cycle, and more into solitude. And as I washed our dishes with great persistence, I listened to Jacob as he quietly left out the front door, trying not to wake up the children. I listened to him drive to the corner of Rachel’s house in which he would pick her up in his car, packed with suitcases, packed with clothes and extra cash, packed with polaroid pictures of Rachel and my children and her breasts, and drive along the highway in which they would make their great escape before crashing into a pole they had not seen as their minds were filled with poetry and song lyrics and each other. And Jacob would remember how my father had told him that Rachel had ran off and that I could reproduce a new generation capable of existing throughout time to create newer generations for families that worked jobs at movie theaters and elementary schools and Burger Kings. My father telling Jacob that if he can have seven sons of his own with Rachel’s own sister, then he would be free to marry Rachel. But when Dinah was born, he panicked and packed and panicked some more until the only thing he felt was anger and despair. And he tried to love me, he did, but he could never love me the way he loved her. And each time I had another son, I would walk into Jacob praying to God that he could love me the way he loved Rachel, but he never did. So they ran to their deaths together, because Jacob was convinced that the closer he got to the sun, the closer he would get to burning his own body until the only thing left was the ashes left in the cracks of our wooden floors created for frozen feet, and that’s when Jacob would realize that he was incapable of loving anything at all.