Kick Them While They’re Down


The man she thought would be her husband, her lover and her best friend, the person she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with, died on Sunday.

It happened quickly, without warning. Whirlwinds of activity, of shared tragedy with a family who treated her as one of their own, with parents and siblings. Waiting for the confirmation, hoping it wasn’t true, only to find it is. His father confirmed.

She moves in slow motion, life lived through a viscous fluid, unable to rush things, to move at real time speed, unable to feel. Until the emotions come in a gushing rush, a tidal crash of pain and despair which settle snowflake-light on shoulders, head, and bend them low with enormity and mass belied by how subtle the triggers might be. The saline spills until no more will come, and then there is the business of life to deal with. There are arrangements which must be made. Matters which must be closed out. Debts will be left unpaid, and utility bills must be transferred to the survivor. The dog must be fed, walked, given heartworm medication. The lawn must be mowed, though the mower brings blisters on thumbs which will form callouses on the heart. The suit must be picked out. The clothes, left in the dryer, must be folded and put away. The truck must be dealt with. The personal belongings must be picked up from the police station.

Today is a tour of his former work facility. He was a young but key player there, in his denim shorts and loose T-shirts, safety shoes and daily stubble. His desk is as it was, and the parents collect his things and his mother rubs the surface, weeping.

She remained stoic in this, and returned to work with her dignity and emotions intact. She was gone a couple of hours, and didn’t bother with her car. The trip is a short one, the two companies kitty-corner to one another on the same block. Perhaps half an hour each way, and she has time to think. She wonders why this wasn’t a bigger trigger, why she’s not falling apart this afternoon from it. But she fell apart yesterday, when the police detective called and gave her the details of the accident. His blood alcohol level. The speed of the bike when he crashed. The distance the bike skidded before it stopped. The amount of what the cop called “graffiti” left on the pavement. She fell apart then, wondering if she’d regret her decision not to see him in the hospital, because she found out he’d not been pronounced at the scene as the newspaper indicated. She found out a trace of electrical activity remained and so he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. She fell apart then, her large, deep brown eyes pouring tears down elfin features, fingers tucked into her wild, curly hair as she let the tears come. Today she has none left.

She was going home, the day finished, the dog waiting for his evening walk. She seemed irked, irritated and I wondered what happened. And when I asked, she told me someone had taken her iPhone from her desk. Someone from her own place of work took her expensive phone from her desk and walked away with it. She called her phone from mine and it went straight into voice mail. They’d turned it off.

The man she loved is gone forever. The world doesn’t let her grieve, though. She has matters to attend to, and there will always be those kicking us when we’re down.

-JDT-

Copyright 2011 Darcknyt, all rights reserved

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