It’s only a mile and a half to the cemetery, but it feels like a long way now. And I’m not just talking about the weather. I used to jog every morning, rain or shine. But I can’t jog now, obviously. I can’t even wear my running shoes anymore. I can’t reach past my belly to tie the laces. And these canvas slip-ons? Worthless. I have to take short steps to keep from walking right out of them.
“Just as well,” Mama had said when I complained. “Wasn’t right, you putting your body on display for every man between here and Northpark.”
And what I wanted to say was, I wasn’t doing it for the men, Mama. I was doing it for me. But I knew she wouldn’t understand. So instead I tried to make a joke, the sort she’d appreciate. “But jogging was how I kept my ass in shape for Carlos.”
“Carlos was a good man,” Mama said. “He loved you just the way you were.” No sense of irony whatsoever.
Thing is, though he really did. He loved that I loved running. He understood how it made me feel alive. He certainly never asked me to make myself smaller for his or the baby’s sake. If he were still around, I wouldn’t be contorting myself around these horrible canvas slip-ons because he’d be tying my running shoes for me. And kissing the toes when he was done, knowing him. Nauseatingly romantic, that man. I miss him.
If time travel were possible, I’d bring him back....
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for October 27, 2017. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1244 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.
Cover art incorporates original photography by the author. It turns out that fewer gravestones than you might think say BELOVED HUSBAND AND FATHER.