The Sweat of the Brow (ix)

I wake up happy. I sit up in bed. I realize I don’t have to go to work. And I start crying.

After that I sleep a little more. When I wake up, wash my face, I feel better.

I walk through the house. My house. I just walk through it. From wall to wall, a nice little world. We’d been happy there. I could be happy there. I could die there.

I am dying. Ten years or thirty, one day at a time.

This is the first day.

I clean the house. I straighten everything, reorganize for the first time since she died. I’m full of jump and fire. It doesn’t last long, and then I’m just standing there.

The boxes arrive from my office. I leave them unopened, stacked in the hall. I walk over to a blank patch of wall and bring up my to-do list. Half social events I don’t really care about, half doctor’s appointments I don’t really need. I cancel them all. It takes five minutes to clear the next year of my life.

I walk through the house again. I look at the sketches I bought in Rouen, the photographs of us, the little bronzes that Sam made in school. We’d met in school. We’d married there too.

I look into the garden. The herbs are doing well. Not like the computer would let them do any other. I look at the pool. It’s as clean as it’s been since we installed the digital management system. Fifty years ago.

I try to sit and read. I try to stand and pace. Neither works.

I go back to the Cove. Back to Ben. He offers me a shot from his bottle. I shake my head, get an orange juice, and stare, hot and sober, out to sea.

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~ by davekov on 5 October 2011.

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