I don’t know what to do with the rest of this day. I retrieved (if only temporarily) my car from the mechanic, took a trunk full of things to Goodwill,
schlepped my recyclables to the dumpster at the fire station. I washed my hair, defuzzed my legs, exfoliated, polished my skin and smeared my lips with something this is supposed to make them soft and healthy.
I struggled with two poems I am working on for Zona Rosa, my writers workshop that meets once a month in Savannah. I sat beside my fountain listening to its soft gurgle, hoping for inspiration, but that just made me start thinking about My Dead Husband and how much I miss him on days like today - dark and rainy and sad. There’s a rock in the fountain that he picked up at the river one day when we were running around behind his first wife’s back 36 years ago. I am stuck on these poems, sick of them, but they have potential, so I will go at them again tomorrow.
Yesterday I attacked closets - My Dead Husband's and mine. My closet was easy. I got rid of 8 purses, 9 pairs of shoes and some clothes I haven’t worn in a year. Behind my shoes, up on a high shelf, I found some old soft porn tapes we used to watch sometimes when we could still have sex. I left them there. Just looking at my closet gave me a smug pleasure. What a good girl I am to give away things I don’t use. That is, of course, bullshit. We should ALL get rid of what we don’t use because there are way too many people out there who don’t have anything, or they don’t have enough.
My Dead Husband’s closet was a different story. I have been gradually giving things away for some time, mostly to the children, things that make them feel close to their father, like his sweaters and golf shirts and pajama bottoms. Have I mentioned that he was so spoiled he slept in a cashmere sweater every night of the year? He was always cold after he got sick. Yesterday I finished the closet, and it was not as hard as I imagined it would be. It was hard, really hard, but I didn’t cry until I had everything organized and in baskets to go to Goodwill. I spread out my jackets and sweaters all across the bar in his closet so it wouldn’t look so empty.
That’s when I went to the corner of the closet where I put The Things I Cannot Live Without: his cocksucker suit (remember the line from Sophie’s Choice)? and his United States Closed Golf Association uniform (long story interesting only to the participants) with the crest on the breast pocket of the jacket, his Tabasco ties and a few others I bought and one really ugly one he bought one time when I wasn’t looking. There is the ridiculously Latin-looking white knit shirt he bought one day in New Orleans and his Old Navy long sleeved tee with the American flag on in and his Newport tee and his tux. I could not part with his belts with fish and boats on them, nor could I give up his alligator belts or his daddy’s cashmere overcoat. I tried but was unable to remove his trousers hanging on the silent butler that have been there since the Wednesday before he died. They will have to hang there a while longer. I unzipped the garment bag with his cocksucker suit in it and pulled out a sleeve and cried on it for a while. I did not wipe my nose on it.
Last night I ate the last of the mini Mounds Bars in his candy box, but I couldn’t make myself move the box.