It is here, the 2nd anniversary of Clint’s death. I will get through it.
I woke, tired and aching, from a dream of blue crabs, some skittering around the deck, others dead, cooked to that bright orange they take on when heated. It was nighttime, no moon, and my dogs were chasing the live crabs all over the deck, ignoring the dead ones and trying to eat the live ones. I began to try to catch the live ones so I could to steam and eat them. I tried grabbing them with a pair of short tongs. The result was the picture of a frantic me, chasing the crabs and catching none. Then they were all cooked, perfect orange sculptures decorating the deck and glowing in the dark.
I looked into the dogs’ kennel on the deck, a product of my dream, and found the shells and flippers of large crabs scattered all over it. I got down on my knees and reached in to start cleaning up the mess.
Awake. Aware. Today is the 2nd anniversary of Clint’s death. I will get through it.
Two years ago, Clint lay in this bed, dying, scorched with fever but awake enough to say, time after time, that he loved me. The day unfolded and he was too tired to talk but would open his eyes when he heard my voice. The afternoon wore one, and I lay at his side, whispering permission for him to go, lying to him, saying I would be okay. He stopped opening his eyes, and at 6:33 PM he stopped breathing and I put my ear to his chest and his heart was still. Today, it beats within me, his heart so kind and good and loving.
This is the 2nd anniversary of Clint’s death. Will I ever get through this?
Clint fretted about leaving me alone. He wanted me to meet and marry someone else after he was gone. I shrugged off the very idea. No one in the universe, I told him, could fill his size 13 shoes, love me the way he did, treasure my very existence as he did. I had great romance with him for 35 years, and I could feed off that for the rest of my life.
These two years have been a time of transition for me, reinventing the parts of me that Clint took when he left. I have made some mistakes. I have taken great pleasure and gratification from my work. I have grown, but I have also shrunken. I have become more and more reclusive, less tolerant of fools. I don’t have enough time waste on prattle .
I have been dreadfully lonely, sometimes sitting on the hearth to talk to Clint, there in his urn. I have wept and laughed with him. When I sat down with him 10 days ago and told him my high school sweetheart had called and wants to come to see me, he smiled. He does not want me to be alone.
Now I am confused and crazy. I have always loved Michael as a friend, and we never lost touch. Clint grew to like him when he saw how important his long distance friendship was to me.
Now, in two weeks, Michael is coming from Houston to Macon to see me. I have a Gentleman Caller. We have not missed a day talking to one another since I returned from France. When he called me, I was in Aix. This sounds like something you read about, not something that happens.
I think God and Clint put their heads together and sent Michael back into my life at this painful time to give me hope, to help me through the tremendous pain I am feeling. When Michael calls, he makes me laugh and that laughter soars over my grief and covers it up, if for only a short time. This man and I have loved one another since our teenage years, a love born of great friendship and mutual respect. I don’t know what he wants, he won’t say until he gets here, but I believe he is coming to woo me.
Thus the crazy confusion. Am I ready for romance? Will I ever be? I’m lonely. Am I reading too much into this? What is Michael looking for? Do I have it?
Today is the 2nd anniversary of Clint’s death, and Michael is helping me get through it.