Sequence of Events: Moving On (part one)
Man will remain, to dream as he hath dreamed
And mark the earth with passion.
Love will spring, from the tomb of old affections.
from The Indian Advocate, early 1900s, uncredited
Phillip found himself catching up to Stanley. The last time he’d seen the back of Stanley’s head had been the day he’d brought Viola home. He had popped his own round Stanley’s door, and discovered a surprise…the old housemate re-materialized, bent over a suitcase. With the leaden, fixated movements of a sleepwalker, a hairbrush in one hand and a pair of socks in the other, Stanley was stalled, hovering, as though his reason for packing escaped him.
Viola had gone to the kitchen. She came out at once. “God, Phillip…”
He put a finger to his lips, shooed her…and she stood firm, crossing her arms and rolling her eyes in a disrespectful way. But she’d kept quiet.
“Stanley! Shall I come with you?”
This brought no start, as of a thief in the night, but Stanley showed himself mildly galvanized, dropping the brush. With embarrassed purpose, then, he added the socks, folded the top of his case over, heaved a sigh.
“Murchison…did you say…come with me?”
“You’re packing your bag, Stanley. I will gladly accompany you to the station. If, on the other hand, you’ve found Desanges…”
It needed only a light touch, putting across the impression he could do Desanges a favor in the matter of Stanley Carpenter. Desanges, if he were the man Phillip thought him to be, would dislike the position intensely. He would wish to rid himself of any obligation, any possibility of Phillip’s becoming a new constant in his life. His sales experience had taught him that he affected others thus, and Phillip meant to use this gift, to make of himself a bloody nuisance, until Desanges saw reason and recommended him to Gamotte.
But Stanley answered, “No, no, I don’t care about Desanges. I’m not leaving.”
And saying so, latched his case and dragged it from the bed. He exited his room, took up his hat, unhooked his coat from the hall tree…and walked out, via the front door. A conscientious, muffled click, had been for the time being, the last of Stanley.
(2016, Stephanie Foster)