The red coat she wore on the last day of her life is still in the closet. And her jackets and dresses. Her shoes and boots. Her blouses and other garments are in the chest of drawers. Her sweaters are in the cedar chest. He sometimes think about packing them up and taking them to Goodwill. But he never does.
The dishes and glassware and cutlery are as she left them in the kitchen cupboards. Thirteen months ago. He barely uses them. He eats take-out and frozen dinners.
The only piece of furniture that he frequents is the drink cabinet. It is full with bottles of gin and vodka and rum and tequila and bourbon and brandy and several liqueurs.
He lives with a cat. His wife’s cat. He drinks alone. The cat sits in his wife’s empty armchair and watches him drink, wondering if this will be another night of 80-proof railing and wailing.
The old man has no immediate family left. He has been invited to move to places where he has some extended family and a few friends — Florida, South Carolina, Northern Michigan. He thinks about moving. But he never does. He tells them he’s too old to move. The will, the life have left him.
So he sits in his bungalow and drinks. He reads C.S. Lewis and The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton, and other spiritual literature in the hope that he will “see the light,” as the saying goes.
The other night he made the cat jump when he suddenly yelled: “I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT! — and it is black!”
The cat didn’t think it was funny, but the old man laughed his drunken ass off.