Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 34

A familiar hand covers my palm, exactly the same way to part I root another tissue in the sleeve of my our shirt and try to John used to hold my hand. I stagger up to standing it up to my nose. My hand shakes, and I can’t families seem . . . sake and of our hold children. sink into his arm. How gently he touches my throbbing find my nostrils. Blood dribbles onto my jeans.   But, to survive, we also The diagnosis to added a wrist. have to find a way to new layer of “You’re chaos to awfully pale,” the stranger says softly. “Will you be stay calm amid all the “Here, you probably need your glasses.” He an wipes emotionally-charged them on all right getting home by yourself?” suffering we see. chapter in our lives. his sweatshirt and hands them to me. “Rather scratched “ I’m afraid.” “Yes, thank you,” I lie again, hunching my shoulders. “I only live a few blocks away.” I dread this solitary walk, dread The ground sways, and the man who is not John leads me returning to what was our home, and dread the musty to a nearby wooden bench. Unable to banish the delusion silence inside our bedroom. from my mind, I slump onto the seat, scrunch up my nose,     lenses he slowly comes into focus. I feel as if I’m in a kind of waking chimera yet still dreaming. I stare down again at his shoes. Yes, the same tan moccasins with tassels that John used to wear, the same Argyle black-and-gray socks, and the same dark brown floppy fringe. But there are no streaks of gray like John’s and no dimple in his chin. He is so very much like John, but the cold reality is that he’s a stranger and John is not here.   “Is there someone you can call to help you?” He leans over me.  “If I sit for a few moments I’m sure I’ll be okay,” I lie. “I can’t believe I’m so clumsy.”  Yes, the same tan moccasins with tassels that John used to wear, the same Argyle black- and-gray socks, and the same dark brown floppy fringe. But there are no streaks of gray like John’s and no dimple in his chin. He is so very much like John, but the cold reality is that he’s a stranger and John is not here. “ “ “I’m glad nothing’s broken,” “ and squint. Through smudged “ the man says, letting go of my arm and easing his Malignant large, warm meant hand off my wrist. cancer. Cancer was bad.   From my experiences I am, I want to tell him. I’m broken. But don’t. with it, cancer was usually lethal. But the       “I’m so sorry to have disturbed voice on the phone you,” I add. kept going, expecting me to keep up with the As the man walks away, back she rattled to the comfort of particulars mellow It amounted to one autumn colors, off. my oranges, reds, and yellows turn gray. The fact—my husband was woman on the bench puts very her sick. head back on his shoulder. The loneliest image in my world just then is that sight—the couple “ snuggling on a park bench; the loneliest sound—their laughter. At the edge of the pond, raucous crows attack a lazy like Have you ever smelled lizard sunning on a small rock but I can’t People be bothered to to talk about What I really want to tell him is that I was sure that coming he was chase them away. A pine cone plops onto cancer the ground and the dark? The survivors having my dead husband, that his presence threw me down on plants a squirrel runs up the tree trunk. Two white a swans waddle new lease on life, a way the breathe the concrete path. I try to take in a deep breath but find toward me hissing and grunting. It is time to leave before new or renewed sense out a musty sigh, a thick myself shuddering, bursting into tears like a five-year-old they peck at my legs. My body feels wobbly, my bloody of purpose, a desire whispered greeting to kid. After a few seconds, I pull myself together. knees stick to the fabric of my jeans, and a sharp pain the gathering quiet? to drink up the world shoots through my ankle. “I guess I just missed that step,” I mumble on, hoping   dirt is as they relish every The he’ll way the stay.  moment of time. overtaken by shadow That didn’t happen to and it holds its moisture 34 close, making fragrant me. All I felt was guilt