An Ode to a Spineless Lament | Teen Ink

An Ode to a Spineless Lament

February 20, 2015
By CoCo_nuttts BRONZE, Tomkins Cove, New York
CoCo_nuttts BRONZE, Tomkins Cove, New York
3 articles 11 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Marilyn Monroe


*In loving memory of Regine and Peter 

I have always been a sorry man. I’ve played it safe; never sticking my neck out for anyone. Some would say my life was dull, but I look at it seeing a life that I could manage with no risk of having to be savvy if something foreign should come along. In working past my middle age, I would wake up in the morning, mix myself a V8 vodka tonic, grab a sunflower seed bagel from Goldberg’s Deli and head to work. Working was probably the most thrilling and happy part of my life. While I was working, all of the problems faded away. There is always one concrete goal in working, money. The world runs on money, just ask my radiologist.
American Designs was the name of the fabric shop I used to own. All my pride was in that little shop of mine in Newsbury, where I shared the business with my long time friends, Paul, Miss Piggy, and Isis, my dreadful second wife. Miss Piggy’s real name was Irving, but she looked a h--- of a lot like Miss Piggy from the Muppets, so I referred to her as such. Even when I was in one of the most plentiful and prime times of my life, I still carried many faults on my back where I have always been caught in the middle of indifference and regret.
The only thing that was remotely more drenched in adrenaline than the way that I felt while I was working, was when I cheated on my first wife, Betty. Betty was a beautiful woman, one of the prettiest I had seen in the metropolitan area. Her silky brown hair would go on for miles around her heart shaped face. My girl’s skin was a s fair as a bar of ivory soap next to her big brown eyes covered in black mascara. She was a very social type, sorta square, but that was how I liked’ em... clean and normal. I guess we were both in a hurry to marry. I always overheard Betty’s mother, Toba, say to her in Yiddish, “No more with the goyim! You have to marry a Jewish man so I can have my Jewish grandchildren!” It must be a mark of the time to have to stick to your own kind when it comes to marriage and kids. Our marriage was like that of a child’s playhouse. I was always at work, and when I would come home, it was to eat and do the deed, a basic fulfillment of my duties as a human, same as anyone else at the time. We had three children together to whom I regret not being there for. My pride doesn’t allow me to tell my kids how proud of them I am. A true man never shows his feelings in the presence of others. Around seventeen years after my oldest son  was born, I was caught by Betty with her best friend from Long Island, Isis. She was crushed. I can still remember her sad face when she opened the bedroom door to find me messin around with her floozy of a best friend. Isis and me made it official after the divorce from my sweet Betty.
I’m not completely sure why I chose her over Betty, it must have been the heat of the moment. It could have been her eyes, breasts, legs... actually, now that I think about it, it was all about the money. She was married to a very wealthy, tremendously successful business man who owned a modest, little liquor store. Only now do I realize, as I take time between naps and my daily chemo treatments to realize, that my love for Isis was really lust. She turned out to be a Cruella Deville in disguise... or maybe more like that character that Kathy Bates played in that movie, Misery. Still, she is cruel to me as I lie here on my deathbed. Isis makes me struggle to get out of bed to eat food, if I didn’t, I would starve. She leaves for hours at a time, spending spending at least $400 a week on her hair and nail appointments. This is excluding the fact that the fat pig buys herself more Entenmann's chocolate cakes that could feed Uganda, two times over. I’ve noticed the fatter she gets, the sicker I feel, it has never failed to be that way before. She also loves to add to her collection of Swarovski crystal chachkas that stand proudly in the living room for all to see.
And the woman! Ah! The woman screeches like you don’t believe! She’s probably the reason for my cancer, but I won’t go there with her. “Ronald!, RAAANALD! RAAAAHHHNNN!!!.” Both my wives screeched. Betty used to yell because a mess was being made in her living room, one of those OCD clean freaks. But, Isis, Oy Vey, her voice is like ice picks shooting into your soul. She would only complain because I either did something wrong, or she needed a soda. Always a soda! And if she did something wrong, she would feel no regret, and no self disappointment. A pure sociopath. I guess that is why we sorta worked in the end, I wanted to run away from my problems and there was this woman who was incapable knowing what a problem was. I don’t think I have ever seen her cry, in the 40 some odd years that I’ve known her, the only tear that she would shed were of glutinous want.
It is almost night, with each time that I get myself out of bed, I can sense the end coming nearer. I have come to terms with my fate at this point. I have suffered enough, in my life. I almost consider my untimely death to be a blessing. 77 years is good enough for me. I now sit on the couch, admiring one of the last sunsets I will see. I reach for my hat to keep my bald head warm and wear the goofy beret with pride, for I haven’t much left anyway. The ever disappearing warmth of the reds and bright oranges of the day give way to the blues and purples, which burn like a preview of the upcoming night. I absorb the beautiful sun of the ever daunting sky; so far from my reach, as if heaven was making a pathetic farce of my last day on earth. I never stood still enough to enjoy the poetry of the sun. All I knew in my life was that it scorched my skin and gave me melanoma in the summer and abandoned me in winter. Never did I think a glowing hue of orange could mean so much.
I lay the side of my head on the couch, basking in the last light of the day. As the stars come out, the moon enters my living room. I cry in longing as it lifts me off the couch and throws  me on its back. I feel no more pain or suffering. The moon takes me outside to the porch of my house, I see through the window,  my old shell of a body lying on the couch, waiting for Isis to bring me upstairs, though I know that moment would never happen again. My pitiful lament was also left on that couch, to be buried away and sent back into the earth from which it came. I said goodbye, and sailed away with the moon off my porch, and into the sky to live among the stars.
 


The author's comments:

I wrote this as a memorial for my Great Grandmother and my Grandfather, a Mother and a son who passed consecutively within a 2 month period. I modeled the main character of this prose after my grandfather who had died of lung cancer. I did however miss the out on mentioning the unconditional love that he felt for his mother. He was also a man of the sea. He loved summer days on the boat where he would reminisce about his days in the Coast Guard. Although what I have written is not the kindest description of his life, it stays true. I feel that this is what he would have written if he had the chance to share his story.


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