“For God’s sake, Mr. Brown! PUT THE SOCKS DOWN!”
The madam was now beyond being patient. She was now terrified. It seemed Mr. Brown had turned….He was in his head, wasn’t coming out. Wasn’t saying a word, just spent his entire time just knitting socks feverishly. Turning heels, shaping toes, binding them off and tossing them off to the side as though they were nothing. He had worked up a collection of socks worthy of any heroic knitter. And no two socks were the same, mind you.
The madam for a long time was quite satisfied watching him deal with the issue of their eviction by knitting socks. He was relaxing, thinking, coping?She supplied him the yarn at first, but eventually, she saw that he wasn’t eating on a regular basis, bathing on a regular basis, speaking less and less. He just sat silently knitting those damned socks with absolutely no expression on his face. This man had detached himself from reality, from everything around him, spending hour upon hour, day upon day, weeks upon weeks knitting those “damned” socks.
He no longer engaged with the madam. He longer spoke at all. That is what caused her alarm. She missed that lovely, disastrous, insulting banter between them.
She knew he loved her because he could insulted her with such wit. He spent time trying to find a rhyme worth trashing her with. That was his way of showing affection. Insults that you couldn’t help but laugh at.
They had only 5 days left to figure out where they were going to go. However, the madam wasn’t certain that they were going to leave together. Yes, that’s true. For as long as she had been unloved, for as long as she had been rejected, she wasn’t sure that she could handle whatever was happening to Mr. Brown. He had not spoken to her in three weeks, had not spoken at all in nearly two.
She missed him. She was nostalgic for those moments of chide, those deliciously rube twists in his language. So of course, she wasn’t going to give up without a fight. Of every living soul she had passed in her decades desperate to give and receive love, he was the first (at this late stage!) to finally respond.
She wanted to help him desperately, because she wanted to hold him again (he would never allow that, he despises affection even on his best days), wanted to feed him (he famously despised her food…and for good reason).
So, there was nothing else she could think to do to help this poor man who was broken. Except BE there…but, that just didn’t seem though? Pacing back and forth talking to someone who won’t speak back? Engaging with someone who has no interest in responding to you? She felt alone in this engagement and rightly so. She wanted them to do well, get on their feet, find a new home together? (Or maybe not?)
That’s why she snapped, the madam couldn’t help herself.
No, I take that back. That wasn’t a snap…it was a build up, for she had that moment the evening before where she discussed with herself that it was time for them to mend whatever madness they loved about each other….or to sanely walk away.
She wasn’t ready to give up on Mr. Brown. She genuinely loved him. As she paced, she glanced at him over the shoulder, never with disdain, but always with concern. She would fold her arms and pinch her chin in deep thought, those heel worn slippers shuffling across her dusty floor.
As she walked past that hole in the wall over and over again she wanted it to be aware she was no longer so feeble she couldn’t get herself up off the floor. No, she had healed and was ready to heal him….or heel him, either word will do.
She didn’t want him to know that she was there, she wanted him to know that she could handle whatever was happening to him, strong enough to help him.
Over and over he knit those socks. And one by one he tossed them to the side.
She was desperate to know what was captivating him and how to release him from it. The madam wanted him back so badly. And on one of her lapses past the hole in the wall she began plotting.
“Oh, you filthy, rotten, old scrotum. If I can’t get you to come out on your own….then maybe I’m going to have to go in and get you.”
She dashed for her famously cheap whiskey, took a luscious, decadent swig, nearly stumbled over feline number 79 and said, “Because I need you, Mr. Brown.”
After all, they had five days until they had to leave their duplex full of yarn with a hole bashed through the wall so that they could share their skeins.
“Ahem!” The madam huffed and puffed as she wiggle wormed her way through that thole in their duplex, her horrible slippers catching a bit of drywall, causing her to trip.
Slouched on the floor, but full of smile, she couldn’t help herself.
“It’s time to untangle and destash, Mr. Brown….”
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