Over the tears of the fallen
It was peaceful, the logs crackling in the fire in an open grate, the rain splattering the windows, Billy lifted his glass from the table that huddled up to the couch that he sat upon, taking another sip of the amber nectar. He had turned the television off an hour ago as there was nothing worth watching. He just sat enjoying his quiet world, appreciating the peace that solidarity can bring. He watched the fire burning, the flame slowly consuming the logs that he had laid there earlier. He looked at the candles set in sconces upon the wall marvelling at the light and warmth that they offered as it was cold outside.
He had been out for a cigarette, as he refused to smoke in the house; an hour or two ago and even stepping over the threshold had been a chore. The old ill fitting door had a curtain over it to help with the draft that the door happily allowed to enter, heavy tapestry, it coped with the wind that plagued his world. He had donned a fleece before he pulled back the glorious burgundy curtain that lay at the end of a straight narrow hall adorned with paintings of dancers and sailing ships, lined with shallow book cases, packed to the brim with paperbacks. He opened the door and set foot outside as the wind caught him blowing what little hair he had left around his slit eyed, closed mouth, face.
He pushed the door closed behind him, making sure doubly that it was, he did not want this chill to enter his house even if it had already entered his being.
The door closed he stood in the lea of the house where the wind only whipped and scalded rather than assaulting him. It was difficult to light his cigarette, He stood his back taking the worst of the blast as he tried to get his lighter to spark and give him the, stupid, joy of smoking.
These days there was little joy to be found in smoking, no joy really, even in fuelling his habit. It was too cold, too windy and the sleet was covering him even as he tried to hide from it. He took a few draws from his cigarette, nipped it and looked for the handle that led to warmth and comfort. The Imitation brass handle was easily found despite the foulness of the night and Billy used it stepping back into the world of light and warmth.
He walked the narrow hall lined with paintings of dancers; ballerinas in pumps and tutus with exquisite grace.
Flamenco dancers in elaborate costumes, reams of lace and beautiful dresses, set between originals of sailing ships, that Dutch painters had once relied upon for a living.
He opened the door upon his living room enjoying the sudden and comfortable warmth that it released as he opened the sturdy old door that had it concealed, keeping in the warmth and out the cold.
He had buffed down that door a year or two ago, trying to make it look better as it was a huge timber monstrosity but it had been painted over so many times, that in the process he had stopped, thinking that he was stripping it of its grandeur, Its place in life. Anyway he always thought; my house may not be a palace but it is not that bad; It is warm and dry. It is comfortable, perhaps, though had you sat upon his couch you may not have considered it so. The long narrow hall led to the living room, it had two bed rooms situated on the opposing sides of the house as well as a small bathroom and kitchen, all led off of it.
We need not speak of the kitchen and bathroom as in one only cooking is done and in the other that which was once cooked passes. The living room was small but comfortable. Two chairs faced each other across the no mans land where the fireplace and fire resided. A rug, that looked to be Moroccan in style lay between them covering the wooden floor. The sofa sat directly across from the fire and it was there that most nights Billy slept despite the well appointed bedroom down the hall.
To much whiskey and not enough love had turned his habits towards introspection and that is where he lived. Billy lived in his own mind, in his own house and he lived with the memories of a love that had been taken from him by his best friend. He lived meekly, quietly and introspectively but he lived.