She was here — and then she wasn’t here.
She was here for thirty-four years — here and there, here being a rundown bungalow sixty miles north of Manhattan, there being the many places we lived and visited.
Many times her absence spirals out of control and turns into a nightmare, and noisily flows the gin.
But most of the time her absence is not a nightmare — nightmares end. Her absence is a solitary, frightened dream that never ends. Fear of being without her for the years remaining. Fear of insanity because she kept me sane. I do not want to be locked up in Ward 3C — at the mercy of merciless mind fuckers who strap you to a bed and stick you full of brain buckers and rob you of your dignity.
Perhaps I deserve it for sins against the father, and the son — and the wife, whose spirit would want to help me now because she had a big heart and I was inside it but she cannot help me now because she is not here.