Love Among the Ruins

by Joseph Grant

A discordant sigh was released towards the vaulted ceiling as the couple sat across from each other in their large living room on opposite ends of the plush couch, IM-ing the other from their laptops, occasionally texting about a witty romans a clef due out in the spring or some acerbic dialogue from a well-known political pundit, and, in that, the only conversation that was being conducted was in fact no conversation at all. The silence did not replace the fact that the music that had brought them together in the first place had faded into the dust, caged now by sunbeams, and it fell ever so lightly upon the prized, but never played piano keys, creating dissonant chords not readily apparent to their savage, tone-deaf breast, and while their song was for all outward appearances a pretty tune, their inner symphony had never progressed with the crest and fall of life's overtures. In their oeuvre, they dwelt between the living and the dead; he in pediatrics, she at the county morgue, and at the end of their dissimilar day, they ambled through courteous, trite melodies that had long ago replaced the ruins of a love song left unfinished. Only the clangor of the antique grandfather clock, back up against the wall, tolled and told of yet of another hour gone by, wasted in the cavalier, cadaver existence where many shadows passed but none ever stayed; he many times drunk out of sheer boredom, and she, still angry at him but oblivious to the life ebbing away at each hour's proclamation of: it's later than you think. Unbeknownst to them, as they sat beneath their holy trinity of Cezanne, Renoir and Pissarro, their house was not a museum, nor was it a even a home; rather, a home divided: two separate houses within one. They had filled their great room with many priceless possessions, tempered by self-indulgence as much as it was by languor, yet the echo still remained, brought about by the absence of love.


Joseph Grant, whose full catalog is here, is a 6S All-Star and the first featured author in our "Six Sixes" series.