I climb the stairs, staring at my shoes, treading carefully on the heinous brown carpet. The space under the doorway allows soft light to emerge, as though the box which causes it is a source of beauty. I sigh and walk inside. The room is covered in filth. He has surrounded himself, walled into a space defined by the flickering television — a lagoon of oblivion.
His scent is oppressive, I walk closer, he had refused to shower for days. Why should he when she never will again? I coaxed his eyes away from the glow, I offer him toast. He picks it up, it crumbles in his hands. Mother says to leave him alone, to allow him time. Before, we would talk for hours, sitting on the decrepit white washed porch. We played cribbage, sending the black and white pieces down the long stretch of wood at a leisurely pace. Now I stare into his eyes. I see little. He reaches out and touches my hair. I am reminded of a photograph of Jane Godall and her ape. There is love, but only through foreignness, through distance.
(the top photograph is an analog black and white picture I took, and the second is a national geographic image)