Letting go

August 7, 2008
By
The constant rheumatic rain beat against the old garage and you could hear it from inside along with the symphony of the dog’s barking next door. Without the inflation of the nail on my right toe and the rain, I would be outside possibly gardening and fixing up the yard. I can’t paint the pictures to hang up in my living room anymore. The colors won’t appear on the canvas, they are all dull and the crazy woman across the street isn’t shutting up. I have been distant lately and annoyed with no future anticipations of what could be the next thing that I can paint. Corrupt blood flows through my veins and I can’t seem to stop pouring the whiskey from the flask my mother gave me as a present before she died. Yes, a flask to keep alcohol in. Apparently my mother couldn’t give me much of anything unless she didn’t want it herself. My family had troubles with letting things go. I’ll admit I did too.

The paint is drying along with the flowers in the vase. I pull back my hair and remember that I have an appointment with a man in the next town about his painting that needs a touch up. The arthritis in my hand pulses with every movement across the canvas. Everything seems to be alright but the ticking of the clock is stuck in my head and the buzzing from the television set gives me a headache. It is still like my husband is home watching it but he isn’t. He is gone along with the string of pearls he gave me which I buried him with. Moth balls perfume the house. It’s almost eye-watering; I need to buy some Yankee candles to cover up the stench. The news is murmuring something about deaths and a lady’s voice booms with tears and her panting mellow sobs can be heard even with the volume on ten. I hate the news, I hate that the evening news itself spears everyone’s lives like it’s a piece of meat to be eaten.

Whatever my day would succumb to wouldn’t be as influential as the Saturday morning where I would have to press my dress free of wrinkles, take the hair out of my eyes, and actually wear heels. It is my cousin’s wedding and although family and I haven’t talked in ages, I still feel in my best form of respect to go and wish the bride and groom luck. Along with the champagne that would be permanently attached to my fingertips all night, I don’t want to listen to anyone except the chugging of the liquid down my throat. So what if the butter would be shaped like a swan or if the meat is seasoned to the extreme, I hate fine dining and would rather prefer my plate to be loaded with oily fries and an over-burnt cheeseburger. I’ll go, but what good will it do when I have to be reminded of where I’m headed in life.

Aunts will come up and ask the repeated question “How is life treating you?” The greased up single males with dirty fingernails will beckon from afar and place random drinks at my table. Their winks are all I need to know why I have a Cosmopolitan sitting to the right of my dinner plate. I’m thirty-four and I make myself seem older than I am. I guess death put wrinkles in my forehead and bits of gray that peek out between the thick mane of black hair I have. I’m not physically unattractive yet I do believe I look older than I am and my sisters do too since they seem to send “Happy Birthday, you’re 40!” cards in the mail every August. The mirror doesn’t lie either. I hang around in my husband’s old sweaters. Sometimes I believe that love made me young, that the sweet tea I drink in the morning won’t make my skin look refreshed as it says on the box; my husband never made me force a smile on my face. Never.





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