August 7, 2011 : Amy L. Hayden

August 7, 2011 : Amy L. Hayden

Every time a heavy thunderstorm hits unexpectedly, I think of a dead man.

It hasn’t always been this way, only since the man I thought I’d marry died of a heart attack. Nineteen months later, some may think I’ve been sad for far too long; about those people, I’d wonder if they’d ever looked inside a coffin and wished necrophilia legal. Not for the actual sex, mind you, but for post-coital cuddling. If you haven’t missed someone like that, I’m not sure you’d relate.

Today was one of those days; a thunderstorm – thunderscaries, as my friend Jenn calls them (a location she’s added to Foursquare) – hit Lincoln Square with a ferocity, driving a half-dozen people into The Grind, where I was trying to write.  While the interlopers were drying, eyeing the dark green sky, and wondering when a mad dash outside would be safe, I was already crying.

***

Late spring, 2009: we visit Foster Beach for a picnic dinner. We take photos: cuddling; the stairs of which Jack (being a concrete salesperson) lamented their condition; silhouettes of dandelions. There is a sudden change of wind, unexpected and violent. Everyone in sight packs up, flees. Jack couldn’t run well – he had Peripheral Artery Disease, a harbinger – but we managed to scramble into the car before thick raindrops started slapping down. Jack teased me, saying my feminine wiles caused the squall. It became one of our inside jokes, which would number too few when he died.

***

My single dimple, which only he noticed. The way he loved my writing, said I was an artist. His insistence we’d grow old together, even when I doubted. Our gentle banter, his practiced lovemaking. The way everything was easy, like we were meant to be. The sight of his casket being closed. The fact that his family hasn’t shared where he’s buried. My inability to feel healed. Trying to stop crying in a place where people know who I am, but not really.

If it were only a thunderstorm, I’d be okay. Since Jack, though, almost everything is more than what it seems to be, and all of it is without him.

_____________

About the author: Amy L. Hayden (@yellowbird73) writes stories, both real and imagined, at www.subjunctivecollapse.com. She is the founder of www.cheapfreechicago.com.

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