Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Herb's Zippo

Herb’s Zippo

Everyday, weather permitting, I take my walks. I walk after breakfast, and after dinner. I walk a mile or so in the morning, but in the evening I only stroll for a couple of blocks and back. At eighty, I’m not interested in running into any unfriendlys once the sun starts to set. However, I do carry a walking stick. I’ve been doing this the past fifteen years. Ever since Herb, my husband died of pancreatic cancer. It was hard to recognize him right before he died.
At 5:30 a.m. a black, plastic, Taiwanese alarm clock announces the beginning of my proclaimed day. The sounds of Classical music fill my bedroom and usher out the dreams in my head. I sit up and light a Pall Mall as I’ve been doing every morning for the last sixty-five years, and put on my slippers. I use Herb’s Zippo now.
“Its marks say “II” and it’s a collectable,” my grandson, Chet, informed me. It’s a tarnished gold, and looks like someone tried to burn it years ago. Probably before Herb took position of it. Long, long before I did. I never touched it when Herb was alive. He lit my cigarettes or I used matches.
Sometimes I have to use the restroom in the morning. I had the bathroom remodeled five years ago. My only child, Peter (Chet’s father), did everything but the electrical work. He’s scared to death of being electrocuted. “I don’t want someone walking into a room and encounter some horrible odor floating around and then find my burned body smoking. Plus, I’d probably be making some goofy face. Eyeballs popping
half way out of the sockets or my tongue would be hanging out like Michael Jordan,” Peter said.
Almost instantly after Peter and his electrician friend finished their work I stopped being reminded of when Herb smacked me in the face. It wasn’t wrinkled then. I was
pretty and youthful. My wrists and hands were strong. My eyes were sharp. He felt that I had been a little too flirtatious with some of the members at the Odd Fellows hall. Too many seven and sevens was the only reason for it. Nonetheless, when the shock of what had happened melted, his smack’s burn took hold I bunched up his testicles. I had life by his balls. He never touched me again.
After my evening walk I like to sit in my screened-in porch and watch life. Steady flows of specters bouncing off negative and positive particles and resting on neutrality. My squirrel friends nibbled on corn cobs and apples. They make chirping clucks to me and share the truth. They say, “We see you there. Sitting, astute, on the porch bench. Tears down your cheeks, we see you cry. Why won’t you acknowledge promises and lies?”


Post a Comment

<< Home