Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 93

Devotion | Shelly Drancik

Joe parks his maroon Impala next to the old oak with naked outstretched limbs. He pulls out a folding chair from the trunk, sets up the chair next to his wife’s grave then retrieves his large red plastic cup filled with crushed ice and lemonade. When he settles into the chair, he takes out a small bottle of vodka and pours it into the cup, his nightly routine. In winter or rain, he stays in his car.

His wife was young and obese and died of a heart attack. They never had any children, telling others that they had no need for offspring, that they (unlike other couples they witnessed) had no empty spaces in their marriage. No need for a cat or a dog either.