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Joyce Carol Oates

web | The Sun Is but a Morning Star

The wrong time for him to be returning home so she stands at an upstairs window watching as he drives up the driveway but continues a little beyond the area where they usually park in front of the garage and stops the car back by the scrubby evergreen hedge and then there's another wrong thing, it's that she doesn't hear the car door slam, she listens but she doesn't hear, so she turns slow and wondering from the window goes downstairs and at the door where there's still time for her to be hearing his footsteps she doesn't hear them so like a sleepwalker she continues outside moving slowly as if pushing through an element dense and resistant but transparent like water and at the end of the walk she sees that he is still in the car still behind the wheel though the motor has been turned off and the next wrong thing of course is that he's leaning forward with his arms around the wheel and his head on his arms, his shoulders are shaking and she sees that he is crying... he is in fact sobbing... and in that instant she knows that their life will be split in two though she doesn't, as she makes her slow way to him, know how, or why.




© Joyce Carol Oates
© E-publisher LiterNet, 11.10.2010
The Sun Is but a Morning Star. Anthology of American Literature. Edited by Albena Bakratcheva. Varna: LiterNet, 2008-2010