Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 33

Besides shopping for food and going to work, this is my Heaving myself up, I opened the closet and scrummaged first outing since John’s memorial at the crematorium. for a bra, then a shirt. But the shelf for my fleece tops was Everyone loved the humanist service, the violinists from the empty. A stained sweatshirt lying on the bed would have Yehudi Menuhin School of Music playing Ravel’s string to do—the rest of my sweaters were piled up next to the quartet in F major, and the various speeches that made laundry basket. Tears dropped onto my sneakers when I me cry. bent over to lace them. My back stiffened as I stood up   and walked to the front door. Stepping into the street, I felt The words soon forgotten.  the chill against my cheeks and headed to the park. That’s when I saw him. All I remember is the coffin containing John’s mutilated body flying down the chute and then turning away from I stride toward John, now, almost bumping into a little girl me at a ninety-degree angle; the small door, reminiscent feeding the ducks, paying no attention to a woodpecker of an Auschwitz oven, opening on cue; and my John hammering desperately against a pine trunk or a swooshing into a crimson hell. The kind of hell I’d seen helicopter grinding overhead. Intent on my mission, I don’t depicted in Michelangelo’s fresco The Last Judgement notice the crumbling stair. My ankle twists sideways. I fling at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Flames leapt up to my arms up in the air to regain my balance. welcome him into the 900-degree Celsius inferno. Then the iron door clanged shut and he was gone. Slow motion.  Sitting on a wooden bench in the chilly cremation First my hands, then my chest, and my face hit the ground anteroom, surrounded by family and friends, I imagined with a thud that echoes across the nearby pond. Rough hearing John’s hair sizzle, his blood boil, and his shriveled concrete stones crunch into my knees. Warm blood trickles lungs frying. In my mind’s eye, I saw his flesh char, his out of my nose. My chin judders. bones crumble, and his eyeballs shrink and curl like an egg frying in a pan. Only the asbestos fibers that had “Best you don’t move for a moment,” a male voice sucked the life out of him survived, flying triumphantly up commands.  the crematorium chimney stack. As John’s body turned to powder, I entered the first circle of Dante’s hell, Limbo, I strain my head to look up and pain shoots down my carrying my own special secret: the hope that John would neck, but I recognize the perfectly pressed cuff of John’s return to me. It was the wrong kind of hope, irrational and olive-green corduroys—enough to know it really is him: my crazy. But hope nonetheless. beloved husband. He touches my shoulder and I shiver.   At one level, I’m aware that my thinking is completely of pale blue sky—or maybe just the fact it had stopped “Do you think you can sit up?” he says. “May I help you?”  Something about this particular autumn morning, when demented, yet even the man’s voice is husky like John’s. the thick cumulus cloud cover finally gave way to patches raining—made me brave enough to go for a walk in the park, brave enough to believe that John would come For a moment I’m confused and struggle to understand back to me. I changed out of my weekend pajamas why he talks in a Scottish accent.  and struggled to pull on a pair of jeans. The top button wouldn’t close and the zipper stuck halfway up. I took “Please do,” I rasp. “Thank you.” in a breath, pulled in my belly, and finally pushed the button through the hole. That job completed, I slumped, I roll onto my side and ease myself into a seated position.  breathing heavily in the armchair at the end of the bed. “Why don’t you take this Kleenex to stop your nosebleed?” 33