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Drip, Drip, Drip – Norman A. Rubin
“Drip, drip, drip,’ the sound of droplets from a water tap falling into a cracked sink could heard throughout the confines of the shabby hotel room. The faint cadence of ‘drip, drip, drip’ from the drops of water crept into the recesses of the mind of an elder causing him to awake from his sleep. ‘Drip, drip, drip’ as the man of pensionable years shook the veil of sleep and cleared his eyes.
Who could of seen his hollow cheeks on his sallow features through the dark of the night; his sunken dim eyes were cast in a note of gloom; his grizzled gray hair hanged like tangled sea-weed about his face. He looked like a haunted man as he sat up on the yellowish-white sheets of the thin mattress set on the squeal of the springs. His grave features looked like as if he had been through his whole life a lonely mark of anguish from the great deep of human misery.
Who could of observed his manner, thoughtful and gloomy, when the fall of the dark curtain of the evening hours everywhere released the shadows, caged up all day, that closed in and gathered like mustering swarms of ghostly spirits. Who could of heard the echoes of his mind when the dark shade crept into the corners of the room, and came out behind the closed door.
Who could of observed the possessed elder when the shadows had possession of the entire room and danced upon the floors, and walls, and of the room in the light of a neon sign that entered through the dusty window to the room. Flash went the fluorescent words when the shadows fantastically mocked the shapes of the meager household objects, making them dance to the rhythm of the flashing light. Flash went the tubes of fluorescent light sending its varied color streams that equally mocked the solitary elder in a false note as it crept up stealthily to the bed at every streak of light.
When the dancing shadows mixed with the play of the light brought into the mind of the elderly man other thoughts and showed them in different images. Disturbing thoughts that stole from their retreats in the likeness of forms from the deep, deep gulf, where things that might have been, and never were.
Moist tears were in the eyes of the elder when he gazed when the light rose and fell and the dancing shadows came and went. Thoughts rumbled through the depth of his mind when the faint sounds of ‘drip, drip, and drip’ came out their lurking places at the summons of the dark nightly hour. The tears of remorse coursed down his pale cheeks when he looked fixedly at the scene of light of shadows and heard the strains of the fall of the droplets of water. Yet the light and sounds were so flashing and thundering when he remembered through the distant echoes of a disturbing voice in his troubled mind.
Who could of observed his manner, thoughtful and gloomy, as his mind reverted to the recent past. Everything coursed about in a haunted tone as he remembered a well-ordered life that faded at the pull of the handle to the one-armed bandit, the lure of lottery tickets and the bets on the numbers. Those dreams of riches turned to the bitter ashes of debt, divorce and loss of dignity.
All were remembered as the thoughts coursed, rumbling and threatening, till they were stifled in the misery of his troubled mind. Who could of heard the sob of regret as the elder held his weary head in the palms of his hands as he bent his head in the agony of tears or remorse.
The anguish that he felt was a reminder that now he lived on the haunted ground of past memories that were whispered in the gloom of his thoughts; now obsolete in his solitary and vault-like life that bode no glimmer of hope.
“Drip, drip, drip.....”
Norman A. Rubin