Terrible True Things

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“You know, you know . . . I really thought I’d miss him much more than I do. Is that a terrible thing to say? Can I smoke in here?”
“True things are often terrible to say.”
“You goddam head people! You weary me. My husband’s been incinerated what, five weeks, I’m up to my neck in – and – “
“I apologize. I’m sorry. I live in my head, as you know. Skull house.
“So sick of you people with your stupid books and your stupid writing. Watch a movie why don’t you?”
You know how variable grief can be, in so many ways. It can be deferred. One person may outwardly appear to be unaffected, ungrievingly soldiering on as they say, and that causes odd, uh, situations.
“All situations are odd situations these last weeks. I have found myself being rude to some of the most sanguine people. Saying nasty things to them and then smiling so they know (well, some of them know) that I am only making a slightly harsh joke.”
You figure they’ll forget because you are the grieving widow. The as-yet-still-grieving widow.
“Right. But guess what: I don’t miss his ass one bit. Not the slightest. Every day, something happens to make me realize, zong! that he was bringing me down daily. Daily. Lazy useless human male who sat around reading and writing and playing bad guitar.”
Uh –
“Thought I’d completely cleaned the place of everything Nash, but no, no I still find coilies, the pubic hairs in the bathroom – not mine. The little tiny bits of shaved beard he never cleaned up no matter how much I begged. Nash’s personal habits were – “
Please. Okay? You are making your points. Excessive details will only bring out the queasy.
“He spent so much of these last few years sitting on his ass in a chair writing words nobody, anywhere, wants to read. Least of all, me. So much more practical work needed to be done. [sob] Work on the gutters. The siding. A lot of steam-cleaning for the deck. But no. Laughing last, as usual. Like I thought he was when he fell over.”
…so…Nash just keeled?
“He had leaned his head over – I thought he was thinking about what I had just said, which, of course, I forget – and he had his fingers in his hair and then just tumbled out of the rocker onto the deck and – “
You never know exactly what to do for a minute.
“You don’t! You don’t know what . . . . But I knew he was dying and you know it pissed me off even that much more, like – “
Like, You’re dying to make me angry.”
Precisely. Thank you for ruining my day by dying on me at an early age. So I was saying, this is what they say I was saying when they got to the house . . .
What?
” ‘Don’t you die you son of a fathermucker, don’t you die on me, Nash.’ But he did. Had already. Staring up. A little brown drool at his mouth. The ultimate non-answer out of thousands of others through the years when you asked him a really tough question.
© 2019 Thomas N. Dennis

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