"...only love that we were looking for..."

 

and now is the countdown to payday. smoke 
slowly, they burn so fast. i'd rather smoke than 
eat so why am i fat? are there cancer cells in my 
blood, even now racing darkly towards my ultimate 
destruction? i have 9 minutes to type this. what if 
i had 3 months to live? what would i do?

i would go and throw myself on my husband's 
(for he is, still--always--forever my dearly beloved) 
mercy, beg him to take me in, to give me some final 
peace here on earth before the real final peace. i would 
drive all night to get there, to get to my sons, to get 
home. i would pull into the driveway, blowing the horn 
madly, and rush into their arms, laughing and crying and 
kissing them all at the same time. 

i would spend two weeks with each of my boys and their 
families. we would laugh, i would sing for them. we would 
cry very little, because i've cried enough tears in the last 
7 years to last my whole life long. i would tell them to 
write me a letter filled with all the things men can't say 
aloud, to cry their tears there. then i would make them 
promise to read their letters to me after the burial, some 
day when they felt ready. "just come to my grave, sit down 
on top of me and tell me all the things you can't say now 
and cry all the tears then that i won't allow you to cry now." 
then i would kiss them each softly, on their cheeks, like i 
did when i put them to bed as babies. 

we would spend days in the twilight telling the story of our 
intertwined past. we would drink beer and wine and i would 
make them tell me their dreams for themselves, for their futures, 
for their children, so that if possible, i could help their dreams 
come true. we'd take pictures of each other and in each one, 
i'd be smiling my biggest smile. 

and when the last days came, i would be safe. i would be, 
finally, safe from myself. i would sit in my yard in a comfortable 
chair, smelling the roses i planted as a young woman, breathing 
in the life that i once believed i didn't want anymore. 
i would be at rest.

denise

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