Golly gee willakers!
What ho! Some writing.
He loves fall light. He loves the long shadows it creates, loves the warm, golden tones highlighting the trees and houses in his neighborhood. He walks with his head down, his hands in his pockets, and wishes he could enjoy the perfect afternoon. It would be easier if she had died, he thinks. It would be easier if she was gone forever instead of simply living across town with her new family. Then everyone would stop pushing him to date again. No one would set him up on blind dates. In fact, if she had died, people would balk at the idea of him seeing someone new. They would expect him to mourn forever if she had died.
It would be so much easier that way.
But he isn’t that lucky. No, instead his friends want him to date. They want him to fall in love, or at least show some interest in the opposite sex again. He wants no part of it. He’d rather sit at home and drink beer to pass the time. All he thinks about is her and how empty his life feels without her, so why should he go out in public and bore everyone with his – as his friends call it – incessant whining?
The stages of grief are real to him: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. He believes himself to be currently in the middle of the depression phase. He kicks at a pebble on the sidewalk, sending the tiny, unoffending rock skittering into a nearby yard.
This would be so much easier if she had died, he thinks again. With death comes finality, a certainty that is hard to deny, and the stain of a loss no one forgets, least of all the one who loved the departed so much. He has seen her new family, or rather, the beginnings of her new family. The man who took his place and the barely visible bump under her shirt, a clear indication, to him at least, that she did in fact want children. Just not with him.
For a moment, he regresses back to the anger stage of grief. How dare she do this? How dare she ruin this perfect fall afternoon for him? But then his depression calls to him, a dark siren beckoning him back to the deep, suffocating chaos in his brain.
Dried leaves in an array of browns and golds and reds dance across the sidewalk in front of him, taunting him with their decay and beauty. The warm fall light fills him with a certain amount of bliss, squashing his depression into a peculiar leaden pancake that sits in his stomach and causes a burn in his chest. The doctor calls it acid reflux. He calls it missing her on a fall day.
© 2006, August 18