You can have fun a lot of different ways in a Senior RV Park. A friend asked where we got our propane and I told him Tractor Barrel. His face squeezed up while he was trying to figure out the connection between propane and Hash-brown casserole.
I am in that time, after someone passes, in which the dirges are done, the cadence still, the calls, cards and casseroles quit coming and the work of grieving begins in earnest. Usually when you are alone with your thoughts. Maybe passing in public like a scar covered by a shirt sleeve. When the memories of that person light, like sparrows flitting amongst the leaves and grass vying for your attention. Many at once. A handwritten note, a saying, using her favorite frying pan which is exactly why you wanted it. That last hug of tiny frail bones upon which all of your love hung precipitously, defying gravity and inevitability. Until it didn’t.
It is a time when your ship has stopped in the doldrums and there are no waves or ripples or no one, and nothing moves except your mind. You feel paralyzed. Your length of stillness unrelated to anything you have done or should’ve done but just because it has and will always happen. Staying longer or shorter has no mathematical relation to the intensity of your love. There is no logic here. No rules. Your hopes vigilantly pinned as telltales on the sail for any wisp of wind. And there you sit until you are done. Maybe sooner, or maybe later, but some unseen force will lift you out. It is this that you wait for, when that endless stillness shrinks from days or hours to moments. When the sadness doesn’t take your breath away. When your vessel is lifted and your pain and sadness are carried off by the wind. That will bring the moments once again. I think you know what I mean, because such is love when someone dies.
Karen and I have been driving down I-75 to Florida for most of our lives. But it’s just been recently that I’ve formed the judgement that Southern Georgians are perverts after reading their billboards. There’s research on that.
All along I-75 in southern Georgia are “spas”. These are not your Swedish Grandmothers spas. We know that SPA is a code word. There’s the Green Spa, the No. 1 Spa, the Peach Spa, and on and on. Then of course you’ll need to stop at “Loves” to fuel up your spark plug, or in my case, diesel, you have a glow plug. I kinda like that. Then you see “Adcock Pecans”. Code word. And you’ll see the little town called “Sparks”. And in the middle of this debauchery you’ll see two Jesus billboards (Jesi?). Because one is not enough for the spawn of Satan. Don’t even get me started on “Stuckeys” Restaurant. And then I notice a billboard for an AG Expo and I think ‘Dammit they’re into the vegetables’. About this time I’m thinking Karen and I should check out southern Georgia retirement communities. But then here come the Adult stores. An Adult Superstore “Central” so I’m thinking they have all points of the compass covered now. By the time I see the “Active Adult Community” I raise my fists and yell “I’M ALL IN DAMMIT I’M IN!!!”
Karen looks at me: “What?”
“Nothing” I say.
I can barely drive.
And I’m glad Tennessee is next and not Arkansas.