Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Stan Isler had been dead two months, but I kept on buying things for him as though he would miraculously move from New Hampshire to Nebraska, as we had planned.
I bought him a huge Turkish bath towel, eighty inches long, and blue, his favorite color.
I bought him an ample queen-sized bed.
I even bought him the house I now live in, twelve rooms and a two-car garage, much too large for one person.
Stan's death (car accident) had been so sudden, I kept on acting as though he still lived.
That was September 2004.
When Jack Loscutoff showed up in 2007, Stan's bed converted into Jack's. Oh, his and mine. Together we pounded Stan out of the mattress, the springs, together we curled up and slept, sliding Stan onto the floor.
Then Jack died, and I hated to sleep by myself in that huge bed. It brimmed with Jack's energy.
About that time, I noticed how heavy my wash was. When I stripped that mammoth bed for its laundry trip, I needed a wheelbarrow to handle that weighty bedding.
I began to snivel. And what am I going to do when I get so old and tottery that I can't navigate the stairs? I'll have to swap bedrooms, that's all. But this gargantuan bed's way too big to fit in that pint-sized first-floor bedroom.
But mostly, I needed a new smaller bed because every night when I whip my jumbo covers aside, Jack shows up on his side of the bed, wanting to snuggle. I mean he's been dead eleven months already!
So I did it. Bought a twin bed, electric pad, linens and comforter. Felt so sly. I knew that Jack couldn't tumble into bed with me on such meager terrain.
Now Queeny is gone, and in its place stands a modern skinny twin. The electric pad is in place and, on top of it, the fitted bottom sheet, and two pillows.
But just as I flung the top sheet across the bed, Jack showed up!
He looked bearish, as in our early days, and he laughed and reached across the narrow bed and shook my unsliced breast. "Did you think you could get rid of me THAT easily!"
And we slipped down, side by side, on that skinny bed.
"Don't you remember, honey," he whispered, "when we bounced up and down on my narrow hospital bed in the little first-floor bedroom? A nearly daily duty. And no one ever fell off."
Afterwards, I heard him leave, chuckling.
I shook my head.
What can I say?
My massive bed is gone, so is its burdensome bedding.
Now I'm free to swap bedrooms if need be.
I guess I can't pull one over on him.
Indeed, I'll bet that if I stripped my house bare, Jack would blow in to roll on the wooden floor.