Everything suffers under the sun. He already knows this, front to the window. Front to the window, looking. The sun dissolves in his face. It’s dissolving because it’s a star. It needs to die, destroy itself – right before it is reborn. He reaches up to grab the cord, the one securing the blinds — he drags it down. The blinds shuffle down; the sun continues to shine outside.

He’s too old to be looking out the window, spying for women who toddle with umbrellas hooked under their elbows; they don’t know how to use anything. He thinks about this for a while, turns the thought over and over in his head: they don’t know how to use anything. The blinds are open and he’s facing the sun outside. Women don’t know how to use anything. The traffic light flashes green; the women downstairs cross. He lets the idea that his son’s mother left them flit across his mind. He watches, motionlessly, as the women cross the street to the grocery store where they sell cheap cookies. He hears the footsteps of his son’s mother traverse across his mind, full of clicks and rattles and then there’s the sound of her frying eggs on Sunday morning. The cheap cookies were sold alongside the eggs. The blinds slip shut.

His son, perched on his knee, tears his gaze away from the glass. “That must be painful”, his son remarks, each syllable clouded and rounded with the innocence and naivety only a child can cloak onto his words. “What?” What is it that’s painful?

“The people down there. It’s so hot. The sun’ll burn them out.” He tightens his arms around his son. Warmth floods right into his arms, and they look out at the sun. There’s yellow, a belly-laugh-cheap-frosting-on-cookies kind of yellow, and it floods the sky like yolk in a pan. He moves to close the blinds. “I like eggs.” It’s a faint rasp of a whisper, but he can hear his son above the noise in his head. His wife leaving. Her coat slipping off the rack for the last time. Her heels. “I know you like eggs.” He presses the boy to his chest, runs a hand down his back. There was a faint golden edge to the eggs on Sundays, when her wrist twirled and he had her waist in the circle of his arm.

“I like eggs”, his son repeats, clinging onto his father. The blinds are closed and it is dark, but they suffer all the same in the heavy silence. It cloaks their bodies with the warmth that only a pregnant sort of pause radiates – an intense rosy-cheeked-blush, a mother’s overbearing, protruding sense of love, rubbing sorely against their blinds, prying them open, letting the light in.

He breaks into half, splintering across the silence when his son speaks again. “It’s fine if they aren’t fried.”

She knew how to use something, and it was the frying pan, and it was to fry eggs.


An original by Athena, Photography by Athena {Rochor, Singapore}.

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