Nothing says abandonment like a destroyed, distraught umbrella. It lies helpless on the road, spokes exposed, rolling about like a dead carcass.
I sought it when I was desperate, needy, dying to cling to something brave and strong. It stood there, slightly askew, leaning against the wall with attitude, waiting to be noticed. Its was impressively tall and I knew I had to claim it, to make it mine.
We got off to a rocky start but I was hopeful. Sure, we formed a maladjusted couple whose nooks and crannies poked each other, but my urgency to not be alone compelled me to stick to my choice. I clutched my new companion’s solid stem and liked the way it responded. Slowly it opened up, let me in. I held it close and it hovered above me, protecting me, preserving my warmth, preventing my thoughts and my happiness from being leaked on.
The world seemed to fade around me, I could barely see past my new companion and I had no desire to. Yet I began to grow cold. The smooth spine I held onto for dear life began to reject me; it curved with a flourish I could not match. It tried to pull away as I drew it nearer to my heart. I compromised – as one does – but by giving it some space, it gulped down much more. (Cold feet? Mine were wet!) It began to grow heavy on my shoulders, exerting an uneasy pressure on me. Its resistance to the outside world and its devotion to me began to weaken. I tugged in frustration – where was its focus? But this only angered my somber friend. It threw its arms up in anger, surrendering to the rain, letting go of its identity and purpose completely. It was finished. We were finished.
There were tears everywhere. Metal flashed angrily in the glare of car headlights. I understood what it was trying to say, so I left it. I would find warmth somewhere else.
Nothing says abandonment like a destroyed, distraught umbrella.