Sep 23, 2009

Like much if it was all

Everything was pretty much closed for Christmas, but he got to the gas station while it was open and had a hot dog there. He bought jerky for later and Marlboro Lights to last 'til tomorrow.

The apartment was cold, but Ken slept with his coat. He hadn't had sheets on the mattress in months and the mattress was on the floor, along with most of his clothes and an ashtray he'd taken from a restaurant. The apartment was bigger than he needed now that his wife was gone. The furniture looked like wreckage from a boat. What he had was an easy chair, an empty shelf, a side table with a TV, all floating quietly around the carpet, drifting slowly until it was all bunched up in one corner where the window was.

The rain was getting colder now. He went to see if there was something he could take pictures of, but ended up just driving around listening to the police scanner. There was an accident, but no one was hurt. He got one shot of a woman with an umbrella, but it wasn't sharp. They probably wouldn't run anything anyway. It'd have to be really good and even then it'd only be on the inside and not in color.

Ken went in to the newspaper and it was warm and no one was there, but it was still depressing to be there on Christmas. He'd have to call his father soon. They'd be back from church soon, and he would call and say hello and great! great! yeah, everything's good. He'd say Diane said hi too, even though she didn't and he knew she probably wouldn't, but he couldn't tell his father that. He couldn't think about what his father would say and he always did anyway in his mind. He thought what his dad would say even though he was always just silent, and sad. If he said anything it would just be to say how you can tell a man's a man by the way he treats his wife and you can't be a man, you know, without the help of Jesus.

Diane would be at church too, with her sister and her sister's husband now. She'd probably cry again. The husband did construction and preached at the church some Sundays. Diane had asked him once how come he wasn't like that, and what was he supposed to say?

Ken could tell his dad that tomorrow would be 11 years since he stopped drinking, but he wouldn't. It didn't seem like much if it was all he'd made of his life.

There wasn't anything on TV. No news except the weather. If there was news he could chase it, but there was nothing. There was a James Bond marathon on but he got bored by it. He watched the end credits of "You Only Live Twice," with Sean Connery, but then it was George Lazenby, dumb and jokey, and ha ha, this never happened to the other fellow. But there was nothing else on. There was some Chinese food left in the fridge in the break room, so he had that. The rice was pretty dry, though. He'd call his dad, he thought, when he was done with this.