Saturday, July 7, 2007

562 days, 10 hours, 55 minutes, 35 seconds

She was headed somewhere else with that focus on the recliner, but her husband intruded (husbands always intrude). She was headed for the doctor's office once again, for the little room in the back with its own restroom, the wastebasket filled high with snack wrappers – potato chips, corn chips, all the rest of the gunk parents today say isn't good for their children. That little room with a VCR, personal DVD players, and four recliners. That's where she was headed. Is headed.

562 days, 11 hours, 51 minutes, 45 seconds

July 7, 2007. 7-7-7. This was supposed to be his lucky day. He was supposed to have flown from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. He looked forward to slot machines. He thought maybe he'd play some craps. If he had the time, he'd study more about poker and hit the tables there. Maybe he'd just walk around the strip, find a place outside where he could eat lunch and dinner. It's going up to 116 in Las Vegas today. He would have been so happy just to be there.

562 days, 12 hours, 4 minutes, 21 seconds

A poem she wrote a few months ago is up on the Internet today: "Recliner saves man who was shot in head." He was shot by his wife.

A recliner was what her parents bought her when they realized she was going to be doing nothing but sit in her room reading all day. They'd taken out the other twin bed, giving up on her having friends over. It was a green recliner, and she used it every day all day until she left their house.

The next time she had a recliner was over fifteen years later, when she moved into his apartment. They'd sit there and cuddle, like they did in bed this morning. He'd been up for hours. She'd been lying there awake, not wanting to get up, not wanting to start the day. But her cough gave her away, and he was there a moment later, fully dressed, cuddling her, tears welling up in his eyes. She could hear them.