“All is lost,” she whispered as she watched the home she’d lived in all her life collapse under the flames devouring it. The shed, the outbuildings, the homes on either side of hers, all aflame. She didn’t know what to do other than stand and watch, didn’t know what to think, where to go, how to proceed. She only knew all was lost.
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I’m in apartment 104. Above me is 204. They are pretty quiet people for apartment dwellers – I don’t hear too much from up there. But just now I heard a lot of noise and crashing and thumping. I’m standing in my kitchen trying to decide if I should go up there, call the police, or do nothing.
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The sunset sky was ruby and rhubarb, streaks of color I watched in my rear view mirror as I drove past acres of sunflowers. It was a stunning sight that lifted up my heart and made the whole day seem worth it – a feeling I hadn’t felt for most of the day.
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Her talent was guilt. She used it to spear with diamond-like bloodless aim. Her precision was laser perfect. She could be around you for 10 minutes and know where to inflict the pain. Everyone hated her but there was no way to get away from her.
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The overhead fan whirring, sprawled on her back, snoring with her mouth hanging open. No wonder she’s parched when she wakes up. She staggers from her bed, stiff and splay-legged, pours a glass of water, and finally revives enough to open her eyes.
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I could hear the loud conversation among the men at another table. It overpowered every other conversation in the room. Why do men act like that? Like their opinions and words are so valuable they should be broadcast to everyone everywhere. It’s terribly annoying.
I asked my companion, “Do you want to take it outside?”
“Oh my god, yes!”
We gathered up plates and napkins and forks and coffee cups. With all of it precariously balanced we pushed out the door and settled at an outdoor table.
“Ahh, that’s better.”
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“Follow me, please.” The after shave soaked man in the suit gestured toward a door. “This room is where you pick a vessel for the remains. We have some beautiful new vessels that will look stunning on a shelf in your home, if you wish to keep the remains near.” He stepped toward a case. “And here you see vessels appropriate for storage in our mausoleum.” He smiled. “Would you like a few minutes to look around?”
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The cat vaulted from the back of the couch into the venetian blinds. He leapt across the room toward the glass doors, then he tried a few high jumps in the middle of the kitchen. The kitchen counter, the kitchen sink, atop the fridge, then down and back to the window behind the couch. Such hot pursuit could only mean a fly had wandered into the house.
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The young woman who took my photo at the DVM politely offered to retake it to try to get a better photo. I looked at my face as the camera sees it. “Thanks, but it’s really hopeless. There’s no such thing as a good picture of me any more.”
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“I guess it was that tux I wore to MC cousin George’s retirement party that attracted Carolina’s attention. She went into my party to dance with me and took me to her party to dance with her – just two single women who needed someone to dance with. I was surprised (and delighted) when, before I could even ask her out on a date, she invited me to her room to share a bottle of purloined wine. Although we never got round to opening the wine, I stayed until morning.”
“Do you still have the tux, grannie? Did you look really good in it?”
“It was a rented tux. But your Nana, now she looked amazing. She had on a shiny blue dress with a slit up the side. Whew, that was some dress.”
“Ah, grannie, it was love at first sight.”
“Yes. Yes it was.”
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