Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Demise

He idled at the side of the road, looking at the revival tent. He shut off the engine. He imagined running into the tent and screaming at all those people to get away from that used-car salesman who offered them packaged hope and contrived conditions for reaching heaven. He didn't, because he also imagined getting hauled off in cuffs by a sheriff's deputy.
Funny thing. He believed in God, now more than ever. But he was angry at God. Very angry.
He started the car, and drove to the supermarket to restock his empty refrigerator. He stopped at the booze aisle and pondered the numbness promised by a bottle of V.O. "No thanks," he said to the bottle, and walked on. He stopped by the beer coolers. "No thanks," he said to the cases of brew. He saw his reflection in the glass door. "You look like crap," he said to the reflection. 
He drove home, put the groceries away, and looked at the calendar. Ten more days of what he used to think of as his real life. Ten more days, and then he would drive away from the Houston suburb to a dock in Louisiana, where he would spend twenty-eight days captaining an offshore work boat, taking supplies to offshore oil rigs. His stint on the vessel felt like his real life now, since she left the earth.
He looked out the kitchen window in time to see her husband and son arrive across the street. It was Thursday, and normally, the eight year-old Bobby would be knocking on his door, telling him that his mom and dad were inviting him to dinner.
That was before Bobby's mom was taken from them by a drunk driver. She was coming home from a PTA meeting with an ice cream cake in the back seat.
He would never tell Bobby or his dad how much he loved her. There was nothing sneaky or underhanded about her, and never had there been more than a hug between them, but those hugs nourished his soul. He would never tell her husband and son that either.
He hadn't talked to Bobby or his dad since the funeral, but tomorrow, he would ask them to dinner. He would try to get them to talk. He would do his best to fill just a little of the vacuum in their lives. He would look in Bobby's eyes, those eyes so much like her's, and try not to cry.

Three Word Wednesday


  1. I was not sure of one thing - is he the guy - the drunk driver that cause the death of Bobby's mom? or is he just a neighbor that is sadden by the death of Bobby's mom?

    nice but sorrowful tale

  2. Such angst in this Hal, but I say that in a good way. You've created characters that readers care about, even though they might not be "solid citizens." But they are real. Always like it when you come around to 3WW.

  3. You wrote about feelings and sentiments so well :)