I’ve got a restraining order against me.
Ain’t that a hoot.
So I can’t go home. But it’s not bad here.
There’s a bird feeder outside my window. I’ve got a television that sets on my dresser. I’ve got cable, so that’s good. Not that there’s much to watch during the day.
There’s a little refrigerator in my room so I don’t have to walk down to the dining room room when I need a drink. Non-alcoholic, of course. It’s been years since I had that kind of drink.
It’s just the one room. Not counting the bathroom, complete with all the grab bars. Like I’m set up to do gymnastics or something. Not at my age. And the cord to pull in case I can’t get off the can. I don’t need that, but they have this place set up for old people who can’t get around.
I’ve been here a couple of weeks. I think. Maybe longer. I have it written down in a notebook I keep. Let me look.
No. That can’t be right. That would be almost a year. I must have written the date down wrong. Couple of weeks. Three, at the most.
My wife never comes around. She’s the one who got the restraining order. Says I came home a couple of weeks ago and tore up the house. Maybe I did. After I caught her running around, you wouldn’t blame me, would you? She’s been doing that for years. Even before she got sick. Then she was laid up in the hospital and she started in with one of the doctors. I tried not to say anything until she got better.
The food’s pretty good here. Sometimes I sleep in past breakfast. They don’t like you to eat in your room unless you’re bad off. If you do that too much, they’ll move you over to the other building, so I get out as much as I can.
I used to carry on myself, if I’m being honest. I was in sales. I’d go to these out-of-town conventions and there wasn’t much to do when the day was over so we’d go down to the honky-tonks. Well, you know what happens there. Everybody did it. Doesn’t make it right, but everybody did it.
But I felt bad about it. I tried to keep it from Bea, but after a while the guilt just felt like an anchor pulling me under water, deeper and deeper. So I told her all about it. I figured she’d throw me out and I know she thought about it, but I started going to church with her and after a while, things just kind of smoothed out. Truth is, I don’t think she ever got over it.
Everything’s upside down now. Out anniversary is next week. Fifty some years. Not that it matters. She won’t care. I want to try to talk some sense into her. We’re both wrong, All kinds of wrong. Wish we could get it worked out.
She hasn’t been here in a few weeks. I’ve got it here written down. Somewhere. Can’t find it right off. It’s somewhere.
No. Wait. Yeah. That’s right. She’s never been here. Never will be.
She’s been gone four years now.
I wish we could have got things straight.
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