Plummer Cobb is a writer and communications consultant based in Arlington, Texas.

The Penitent

He hates spending this much time on his knees.

He is retiling the floor in the bathroom, something they always intended to do. He’s hoping it will raise the appraisal value. Had he done it sooner, they would have had time to actually enjoy the new floor before selling it.

But he didn’t do it earlier. Maybe that had been part of the problem. Tiling floors is one of the things he does for a living, and you know what they say about the cobbler’s kids. He could have done it two, three years ago when they bought the house. He confesses to himself that he kept putting it off because he always thought there would be more time. He had taken the same approach with his marriage. If only he had worked on it sooner…

He always thought the future would be better than the past or the present. He realizes that mindset was a trick, and he played it on himself.

In the end, she left him for another life, to fulfill her dreams, whatever those were. Sure, she had talked about a bigger house, more money to travel, more time to enjoy life. Wasn’t that what everyone wanted? She hadn’t confided in him anything beyond that.

Now, on his knees, tiling the floor, he does penance for ignoring the present in hopes of a greater future. He prays not to some god above but to something within himself to help him keep moving forward. And to finish this damn floor.


Active Shooter: A Haiku