Thursday, July 19, 2007



She was my neighbor. She worked at a Chevron station a block away. She told me she had two Masters Degrees in Theology. She told me her son was a good man and that he did not steal my CD's. I believed her. She didn't believe me. She told me I was not so bad at the guitar but that the cello was the poet of the orchestra. She hated punk rock. She told me all these things quickly and in a Massachusetts accent. It all sounded like an amateur comedy routine full of lack-luster punch lines and non-sequitors that seemed to act as bridges over the spaces through which someone might leave the conversation. No one could ever leave the conversation.

Unlike many, she was on a first name basis with all her neighbors. Sure, she was full of gossip but she brought people food after she talked about them. She had a husband whose anger shaped his face. He yelled at her with foul language and most often he did so in the morning. She began everyday with coffee and aggression.

Her husband sleeps alone now.

Maybe it was that coffee and aggression that made her so unnaturally skinny. She had just come into an inheritance and her new diamond rings hung like hula-hoops off her long, thin fingers. Because of this new money, they would soon be moving, she told me. Two weeks later she would pass on her inheritance the same way every inheritance is passed. Things were looking up she told me.

She'd bought her 16 year-old son a new car from which he blasted terribly cheesy reggae and hip-hop. He is still 16. Those songs will one day seem cheesy to him as well, but also sad. He was with his mother, perhaps listening to those very songs, when they were hit head on but a 21 year-old woman whose blood was full of ethanol and stupidity. The boy survived, though will go on motherless.

I'm waiting to see if her husband's angry face is now that of stone or of water. I'm waiting to see if her son looks older than 16 now that he's acquainted with death. And I am waiting to see the obituary so that I can find out if she really did have two Masters Degrees in Theology.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Its dark! Very deep, poetic and I relate to that neighbor of yours!

Keep writing!

January 24, 2009 11:33 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home