she is the collection of talents that i am not. i the work horse out plowing fields. out delivering the mail while she raised the children and keep the budget. she is the veto machine to our constant requests for dinners out, for movies for new cars or whatever fancy turns our head.
i was fond to her looking the other way when one of the children would come back from the grocery store with me holding a small toy or record. i was fond of smelling my shirt when out in the elements delivering knowing earlier she had washed, folded and cared over it. so many things...
now i take to missteps. now i get focused on the storm coming that will wash her away. now i take trips to the grocery store and stop at the local tavern. now i drink and swerve my way home. i hope to ram a tree, i hope to get there before she slips like sand from my fingers. i hate the fog and i fear that i am too weak when standing there and she has forgotten most and she has begged to be suffocated that i will, i will or worse i won't.
i imagine the dark room. i imagine her gasping through tears calling out for me to stuff her mouth full of pillow, to strangle the air out of her. i imagine she calls to be pushed from the window or just rammed through by a knife. i imagine this, the love of my life, the one who was strong enough to carry all our wishes and deliver most and i fail.
while she takes her time with the birds i drift to gun training classes. i day dream of her learning how to function a small hand gun under the guise of protection but with one eye focused on that night coming.
for me it will always be the night. the holy hours of predawn morning. the post night night when in our silk summer pajama's she will say, 'it's time love,' and i will get the case. where she will whisper for me to leave. where she will run her manicured fingers across my cheek and kiss me full tongue one last time. where we will put on our song, the song we danced to at our wedding day and she will shoot herself. where she will stand up and make one final act for her family. the good servant until the end.
we talk politics, we talk about second cars or third honeymoons and sometimes i catch her looking over my shoulder and talking to somebody else. i turned at first but caught on soon enough, that it was the ghost of her mother calling her home. in moments of clarity she will say, 'thank god it wasn't my mother in law...ha' this angers me.
while she day dreams of birthdays and anniversary dates i drink, at first secreted into coffee but by mid afternoon it is more blatant in a rocks glass legs crossed like a man. debra will run her fingers through my hair and hum as if it doesn't bother her but i can see from the down turn of her mouth that it does. i am greedy. i want to share my pain, rub it in her face like a wronged teenage girl. i want to scream it in her face, 'you let me down, you did that.' but the air is already thick with my disappointment.
while drunk i thumb through our wedding albums, our early albums and get erections. i can't forget her beauty. i stare up from book to woman and am overcome with her beauty. i want to attack her, to make love to her, to start over and have another baby, have eighteen more years of health joy and christmas.
i can feel her eyes on me and when i look she is calling to me. there are her lips and they are pursed and they are pouting big ready to be kissed. when i look there is the sway of her hips in the blur of sunlight and drink. when i look there is her chest heaving and her eyes are clear. i rush to make it before it comes crashing back.
'i love you,' she will say.
we will make out and flop across the ground heaving and sighing and breaking small end tables.
'i love you,' i will say.
we will pinch, breath, lick and slop our way to the middle of the room. it is there on the throw rug we have owned for years with her eyes cleared she will say, 'who knows how long, who knows what's next so we got to fucking enjoy it what we got...an i love you, an i love you my damn best friend and if i got to get this then i am glad i spent everything i had with you.'
'all great moments,' i say.
i don't care that we are old and barren there is love here. there is life here. i don't care that i am the man, the head of house then. she takes me, she holds me as i collapse to tears.
'shh, it will be alright, you'll see.'
and for that, just that one moment i will believe her true.