Thursday, December 8, 2011

Double Third person Thursday (Throwback Edition) In Honor of My Ailing Dog

Third Person Thursday: Dirty Little Secrets

Each morning for three months while he breathed steam across the surface of his cup of coffee between sips, Gregory stared out across the frozen expanse. Anytime a new inch or two fell, he liked watching the loose powder slide across, up and over the largest drifts which had turned to solid hills of ice long ago. He thought of Carl Sandburg’s description of fog whenever he saw it.

That’ll be frozen soon enough too, he would think.

Despite the monotony, he admired the majesty of such a large rolling field of nothing, a surface where you could lose yourself and your sense of perspective if you looked at it long enough. He had to remind himself to look away, blink and rub his eyes now and then.

Snow-blind, he would mumble to himself as he did this and then take another sip of coffee as it had already begun to cool.

He used this routine as a way to clear his mind and relax at the beginning of the day. He imagined that his day started the same way the landscape looked, a blank white canvass. Yet every day, as he looked out the window at the pure, sprawling sheet of white, Gregory knew there were secrets beneath it all. He knew that things were buried below the ice and snow that not man nor creature would reach until Mother Nature had decided to allow them access via thaw.

He knew of the mess and the filth that someone had left beneath the snow, concealing it where nobody would find it for months. And each day, Gregory wondered how soon it would reveal itself. When would the pure snow that he looked at one day recede and expose the disgusting truth that lie beneath? He knew the day came ever closer, but it was impossible to know how long it would take.

And so, Gregory waited. He had learned years ago to enjoy the scenery while he could before it was sullied. Too soon, he would have to deal with the truth. That day always arrived before he would have liked, but it was inevitable.

The worst part came when he began to just see parts of them peeking out through the melting ice and snow. When it first began to warm, the rotting, decayed remains would still be frozen to the ground. There was no point in trying to dispose of them. This was when he stopped enjoying his coffee at the window. During the weeks when he waited for the thaw to grip the ground fully, Gregory peeked out to look at the progress and then retreated to his desk with his coffee. He didn’t want his appetite ruined.

But he could only avoid it for so long. The bits and pieces had to be retrieved and properly disposed of or people would begin to talk. He could only imagine the complaints.

It was then that the yearly ritual would commence. Gregory would don his rubber boots, pull on latex gloves, stuff the oversized pockets of his coat with as many heavy duty trash bags as they could carry, throw the old rusted shovel over his shoulder and go out to do the dirty work. It fell to him to clean up the mess that had been left behind because somebody had to do it. He realized his friend couldn’t help himself, but he wished there were a better way for him to satisfy his urges. There was no changing that now, however, and Gregory would set to his duty.

“Going out honey?” his wife called to him, somehow oblivious as to what had gone on behind their home every winter for the last several years.

Gregory cringed. He didn’t want to explain to her the disgusting task that lay before him. Yet, he didn’t know what to say. To his horror, before he could figure anything out, the truth was escaping from his lips.

“Gotta go clean up the dog crap in the yard,” he shouted up the stairs, “be back in an hour or two.”

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