A Scene, Looking Back

Velvet curtains drawn shut, book-lined walls, hardwood floor covered with a fine woven rug, dimly lit by a single candle, the aroma of camomile tea and a bouquet of lilies now dry, lifeless; familiar, taken for granted, even the overstuffed high-backed wing chair that almost seemed to embrace her when she sat in it, gave little comfort without the sounds of others around her, the squeals of children, the bark of a dog, the quiet gossip of a neighbor, even his voice complaining about this or that news article in the daily post.