Sunday Stares (Revisited)

Coming in at 342 words this week..Let’s see that is 100 words for last week, 100 for this week and……. 142 words for the hell of it.  I wrote this a while back when my wife left me but I felt it fit with the photo prompt.


Thanks to the lovely Rochelle for hosting.  All stories can be found here.

copyright - Jennifer Pendergast

The coffee brews as my smoke burns. The silence that fills the house broken by my music turned down low. The steady climb of sound on Sunday.

Turn on the Blues and light a Jay first thing. I wait for the noon before I crack a beet but a joint’s just fine as the grinds grip and swirl in their filter paper.

Searching for rolling paper and coffee filters I get lost. Lost in dreams, I sift through blogs and files of any kind.

Text book winter mind afraid to feel too much guides me under gray skies on autopilot to the seven eleven. Not enough french vanilla in the house and after one cup without it I decide its time to make the trip to seven eleven and the homeless guy by the trashcan.

Sunday mornings are cold on the side of Route 25

Sunday mornings are cold when your wife is gone and she has the kids too. I wait to call. The coffee waits to be consumed. It’s Sunday and everything is slower. It’s Sunday and church is open. God is watching. Football is on.

The smoke and the fog slowly roll, covers me and the music continues to play.  The sadness of Sunday drips down through coffee grinds.

I turn up the music realizing I am not waking anyone. The house is empty.

Next door they wake up whole when at once time they were fractured. Broken I walk by to leave the little bit of trash by the curb, in the can, in the bin, I built out of wood.

So much is broken and as hard as I try with monsters hands I crush what is fragile to me.

With a crack the tag connected to the tight plastic seal on the french vanilla snaps and the counter-top is sticky on Sunday

I wait to call, I wait on noon and that cold beer, I wait for my mind to set with the sun on Sundays.

The silence a steady hard climb

69 thoughts on “Sunday Stares (Revisited)

  1. So heartfelt. But beside the awful fact that this happened and you felt like this one Sunday it is a wonderfully strong piece of writing, with an overwhelming sense of loss, as well as that Sunday feeling we all feel.

    1. Thanks Claire. It was five years ago and I have moved on. I think we all going through feelings of loneliness at some point in our life. I have always had the need to write down my feelings, the good, the bad and the ugly. Writing has always been my therapy.


  2. Besides feeling the pain, I felt the spiral (downward) in the piece. I’m sorry you had to feel it, glad you could do something beautiful with what you felt.


  3. It was brave of you to share this. I am glad to read that you have moved on with your life and I hope you don’t get to write another piece like this one, unless it is a work of fiction. Best wishes

    1. I don’t know if it is all that brave…I think as writers that is what we do. I hope you are right that if I ever have to write something like this it is a work of fiction.


  4. Yes, and yes. The pain, the loneliness, the emptiness, all the way there in this well written emotional piece. Nicely done. Experiences in life are not always as we would wish them to be but they are a reality we must walk through and climb above as we move on. Thank you for sharing your words.

  5. Dear Tom,
    You’re right. This fit the prompt to a T. You’re forgiven the extra words. Stunningly painful and well written. Glad to know this shared in retrospect. Again, I look forward to hearing you read it. 😉

    1. Rochelle,
      It seems I broke a few rules this week…I went way over the word count, it’s not fiction and I used an old writing. So glad you are willing to forgive me. I look forward to doing a reading of it as well. Thanks for the kind words.


  6. sad and painful..You are right. Everybody has their share of loneliness. for some it is life and workplace for others..Hope writing helps at least a little..

    1. Nightlake,
      Writing helps a great deal when dealing with any kind of pain. Solitude, isolation becomes loneliness when we are in the wrong frame of mind. Often being alone is a gift.

    1. Managua,
      Thanks man…you can find the youtube link on my “about” page. Some people go through it over and over but I am with you…I will never go through that again.

  7. This is very heartfelt and poetic. It’s tough to read because of the stream of consciousness nature of the piece, and of course the subject matter. I like how the coffee seems a beacon and a unifying theme.

    1. Jennifer,
      One of these days I am going to do a reading of this and I will send you the link. Perhaps it will be easier on your ears and hopefully as heartfelt and poetic.


  8. Hi Tom
    This makes me feel so many different things, but above all, I think I’m glad you’re a writer – you’ve captured these feelings at their most potent point and imprisoned them on a page. If you tried to rewrite this now it would be overwashed memories and wouldn’t hurt nearly as much to read.
    Glad you’ve moved on. Glad you caught it when it was fresh.
    All the best.

    1. elappleby,
      That has to be the best thing you could say to a writer. You are right any attempt to write this now would leave only over-washed memories on the page. I often use my old writings to remind me of not just where I have been but where I am going. You have put a smile on my face and I am sure it will be there for some time. All the best to you. You made my day!

  9. Tom, I could feel the emptiness in this piece, and the loneliness. Waiting for the time to pass. I’m glad you were able to express it in your writing. Thanks for sharing it here.

  10. Tom,

    I do so love good writing. Thanks for sharing your pain so candidly. This was a powerful piece and a somber, sad, soliloquy. Right up there with your best, probably because it came from a broken heart. The conclusion of Dispatches by Michael Herr says, Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam, we have all been there. I was reminded of my two major love losses when I read your words and thought immediately of the above lines, though I substituted Divorce for Vietnam. Quite similar in a way. Scars and PTSD and pain. I’m glad you’re past all that can be of it.



    1. Doug,
      I think extreme emotions produces some of the best writings we have in us. If we are on some sort of spiritual path in life as we move to the next step we are able to share what we know and who we truly are, writing does that for me. It has been my therapy since I was a young man. I take your comment to heart. Those are fine words from a writer who’s work I genuinely admire. All the best.


    2. I will look into Dispatches by Michael Herr…Pain is as endless as the universe and comes in so many forms. All you can do is move forward and deal with the world, find joy and simplicity. But you can not deny your past. I am reading No Easy Day right now and and as the Seals says “The only easy day was yesterday” I have to admit that militant philosophy is some thing I embrace but fight at the same time. I wish I had an easier granola crunching disposition but I was not socialized that way and genetically Irish I do not have predisposition for a cool head. Love, war, life and death mingle everyday and so close to each other sometimes they are hard to tell apart.


  11. Tom
    This is hauntingly beautiful. Life throws us lots of curved balls and we have to deal with them the only way we can. Loss of love, betrayal, the descent into despair and then the slow painful climb out; those of us who have suffered know how hard it is to put it behind us. Glad you’ve made it out and over the top
    Well done

    1. Thank you Dee… a very fine comment about the trials we all go through in life. None of us are immune to pain and only can do our best to climb up and out. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  12. Tom PPPP,

    Powerful stuff my friend. We have to hit the bottom like that to climb back up and appreciate some things much more. This you did. Kudos to you. Also, you know I love your writing, but when you put so much of your soul into it, it shows Tom, it shows well.

      Thank you Jackie. It’s the writing that mean the most that get the most, I suppose. You have always had nothing but kind words and I greatly appreciate that you enjoy my work as I enjoy yours. Thanks for the comments, it is always a pleasure seeing you around.


  13. Sunday here today. took one look at it and was almost afraid to read it… but it’s so beautiful. sadness pouring out of every word.. but it’s so lovely. sorry you felt that.. but glad you wrote about it.

  14. I think if we are all honest we can relate to your feelings from sometime in our life. The things is not a lot of people have the opportunity to share with others as part of their healing. I am glad you got the chance and that you have overcome the feelings.

    1. Joe,
      “I think if we are all honest we can relate to your feelings from sometime in our life”….too true. WE have all been there none of us are immune to the trials in life. Thanks Joe for reading and for the feedback. All the best.


  15. It’s interesting that a spiral staircase triggered this piece of writing. It reads as sad, but the spiral is such a positive symbol. One’s life experiences may seem like going in pointless and painful circles, but then we find we’ve moved to a higher circle. And going down a spiral is impossible, for we can never unlive our experiences.

    1. I wrote this a while back and it had more to do with the stairs then the spiral. In a spiral we start at an inner point and moved outward. I suppose that is what I have done. We can not “unlive” our life that is certain and there is no point in even trying. Thanks for the comments.

  16. I think all of us in the community of writers would agree that writing is our therapy. it gives us a vehicle with which free our system of the pain, anger, and (when we’re lucky) even joy that overwhelms us. The spiral staircase provided a great analogy as well.

  17. “I TURN UP THE MUSIC REALIZING I AM NOT WAKING ANYONE. THE HOUSE IS EMPTY.” this was the toughest line to read, and i’m sure even tougher to write. well done. unfortunately for me, i’ve been through similar things, so it attaches to me even greater than most.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.