The Caveman







He crouches, staring at the small fire, alone, in his cave.  He is not sure what she said or did that sent him here or if she really said or did anything but here he is, alone, unable to look at her, unable to talk to her, angry at her and with himself. 


Withdrawn. Sometimes he goes deep into the cave and other times he stops before he goes too far in. This time he felt himself actually go inside instead of just suddenly being there and he wonders if there is something special about this time.


It is a familiar place, this cave, his cave, as he has been here many times before. He does not like it here. Why does he have to come here? She never understands or as far as he can figure out, never even tries. Always chalks it off to just another one of his moods. But it is more than that and he knows it.


As he watches the flames of the small fire dance up and down, he becomes trance like and then suddenly on one fire-lit wall, he begins to see old cave paintings and as he watches, they begin to move and come alive.





She is slobbering, blubbering as she tries to yell at him, tears streaming down her swollen and ugly face, left eye already swollen shut from the impact of his angry fist. He, red faced, veins popping in his neck, has his hands clenched so tight into fists his knuckles are white.


He, only a child with a child’s mind, stands there, his father and mother doing battle once again and as he watches, this time is one time too many and inside of him: a dam breaks and he is immediately up to his nose and gasping for air; pipes full of scalding steam burst; doors slam shut and lock forever; electric circuits short out pop, sizzle and burn him; fuses blow; tectonic plates shift; massive I-beams shear away from their foundation; lights go out; gears strip in a terrible gashing sound; memories melt into puddles; the retinas and ears are burned and neurons are rearranged forever. Pain: intense searing pain.


An ember pops and suddenly he is back in the cave and the cave wall paintings are gone.  God, all that pain.


He knows.


He knows now he can never confront, never do battle, never argue.  He has seen it and withdrawal is the only option.  He does not like the cave but at least there is no pain.


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