by Paul Hiatt
We made the worst choice possible and saddled up for good, got cozy with a paycheck, left any hope for ourselves at the door, there was no chance we’d ever climb out of the wage coat and see the light, we could pay bills, pay down debt. We could up our credit score and incur larger grown up debt, that’s about it, no one wants to see it this way, wants to resign the truth of their efforts to meaningless days pissing away the one way beauty of human… this sacred human vessel, this is what we were supposed to do right?
She had a tumor the size of an orange growing in her brain. They used an experimental treatment on her, too complex to discuss. She was on the television describing how hopeful she was to get her old life back. Men in lab coats discussed the odds they managed to grant her. Digital images look like candy- reveal the ravaged loci.
A cold bottle of beer in hand, maybe the six or seventh, but who’s counting, long as there is more in the chilling in the fridge, and some more getting super chilled in the meat freezer in the garage, then we’re ok and nothing can destroy the perfection of this blessed drunken solitary afternoon. Pissing next to the house just because, feeling the pressure fall away and listening to the foam crackling like angel knuckles popping in the brown grass you never want to mow. Hear the neighbor guy you never talk to jerk start his mower, stretch tired legs and let all “to do’s” fade away for now.
Odd how simple and bald and unromantic this life mostly is, huh? Just one lab coat sentence away from terror, cut back to the very core of being, and really you just want your hum drum day to day, rearrange the junk you don’t need in the garage, just in case, gotta go to work tomorrow, wife is pissed at co-worker, job is death sentence grateful prison, now and forever discontented life, please God never let it end, forever sentence.
A chiming bell on time and low and loud, a groove so sweet, a pulse as deep as the Grand Canyon you can take pride in having something to do with and disavow when the notes hit sour and change is the only thing you need to get through, but you fear it and run from it like a child runs from imaginary goons and ghosts.
She died, of course, like we all do, but she smiled a lot between treatments and those few months with her husband, granted by experimental treatment exploded with a love unafraid and unconcerned with any damn thing, a love as true as the air filling their grateful lungs, and would be the finest moments of their lives, moments so compressed with the sweet pain of love and living, so hyper awake and completely stripped of pretense, people said they glowed like two fat and happy moons.