Play Nice

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[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

« Font GoodnessWeek 30 »

She died on a Tuesday. Tuesdays were her favorite days. She used to say that she looked forward to Monday because it meant Tuesday was just around the corner. When people heard that she’d died on a Tuesday, they nodded and smiled as if to say, “Good. She would have liked it that way.”

If you ask me, I wouldn’t have put it past the old woman to have had a hand in all of that. She always did say she had the gift. Of course, I never did believe her on account of there ain’t no such thing, but she also was very fond of telling me I didn’t know jack about life. The more days I spend on this Earth, the more right she is. Was. Is. Surely wherever she’s gone off to, she’s looking down at me and laughing, “See, boy. I told you.” She was never the kind to hold back an “I told you so.”  Nobody ever minded because the way she said it, it wasn’t mean-like. She just let you know with those four little words that she understood what you were going through. But you’d better believe that the next time she gave someone some advice, that person paid her some mind.

She was a small woman. The casket didn’t weigh a thing hardly, but you would have thought she weighed a ton on account of all the pallbearers. Paul, Tommy, the other Tommy, James, Dave, Smitty, George and Jr. all insisted on being pallbearers. Nobody could bear to tell any of them no. Besides, the only one who could have picked among those boys would have been her and she wasn’t in any position to be doing any picking. You know what I mean?

Ooh, lordy, but that would have been something. Can you imagine? Her rising from the bed and pointing in that way of hers; the one that let you know she had her eye on you? It didn’t matter what you were doing when she did it. You felt that finger like it was right on your skin and you shaped up but good and quick. My, my, my. Yes, more than one person woulda been dead that day if that hand would have waved in anyone’s direction.

It took a little while to get to the cemetery from the church. The boys couldn’t walk very fast without tripping each other up. They really couldn’t find a rhythm, but I don’t think anybody minded. The pastor said some really pretty words, don’t rightly recall what passage he read. I’ll have to ask him so I know what to tell people to read at my service. You gotta be prepared with such things. Otherwise people are liable to just read any damn thing that they please and I can’t abide by that. It’ll be my last party on this Earth. I should get to call the shots, yessiree.

After, some people stopped by the house to pay their respects. Except for everyone wearing black, you would hardly have known it was a funeral. That’s the way she woulda wanted it, I think. It’s hard to know what she would have wanted though. She was always a mysterious woman. There was always that little bit of something in her eyes that told you she was keeping something back. And, to tell you the God’s honest truth, although there were many times I wanted to ask what she was not saying, I’m glad I never did. I don’t think I could have handled it. You want to know something, I think she knew that. It wouldn’t surprise me none if she’d had. But she never said a thing about it. That was her way. I think more people need to be that way. Things sure would be a lot better off I think.

we interrupt this little bit of nothing on account of scary thunder and lighting. my computer is shaking and begging to be put under the bed and i try to be very mindful of my computer’s feelings ... sooo this will have to do for now. Besides, I lost the voice and realized that I didn’t have an ending after all.

Published 08/28/03 in Writing • | Views: 1987 times | Print

4 Comments & Trackbacks

i don’t know if there should be more. when i began it, i had some vague sense as to where it was going, but now the ending eludes me. i guess that’s why it feels unfinished.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/29  at  12:56 AM

Now not to be agreeing with Dan and all, but..well, I kinda agree with Dan… and all.  It feels pretty good right there.  Maybe you’ll find a whole book hiding somewhere after that “...I think.” but if not, it’s really quite lovely as it is.

Posted by Miss Bliss  on  08/30  at  01:20 AM

I love this piece.  It can stand on its own.  I might even chop off the last sentence and end with the focus on her.

Posted by Brad C  on  08/30  at  10:04 AM

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