A plate of toast sat between us, clearly marking the divisions of the table. He had built a fortress with the teapot, his mug and the paper. I had my coffee mug, cream and book for a fortress. Our breath hung heavy and visible in the air.
Neither one of us wished to talk about the wooly mammoth in the room. Nostradamus we avoided looking at it, settled in for a silent time and acted like everything was okay. But the mammoth refused to be ignored. His trunk got in the way, now and the. his tail hit something or one of us. His fur sometimes blocked out the light and his smell was not going away, not even with room deodorizers.
After a chilly breakfast, we retreated, I to the class room and him to the officer. The mammoth stayed home. I stopped home for lunch, the mammoth was resting and seemed to have shrunk a bit. Have no fear for the mammoth returned to normal size when I returned home in the early evening.
The mammoth’s growth may have had something to do with Beloved being home again. I’m pretty sure the furnace was not only not working, but that Beloved had left the freezer open as well as the windows.
the mammoth stayed overnight, growing bigger and somehow making it colder at the same time. Soon enough the mammoth would be too big for the room and possibly the house. Still we avoided talking about it, basically ignoring each other, much to the mammoth’s displeasure.
Using his tail and his trunk, the mammoth forced us together. Forced us to talk to each other even if it meant the thaw would happen. Even if it meant that the mammoth would shrink and disappear. The mammoth knew that we needed to talk about it, to work through our differences on this topic…freedom of speech and according to the mammoth we would only be able to speak freely once we acknowledged and talked freely about, well, the mammoth.