A Short Story I Wrote Instead of Cooking Anything

The Woman Alone

I’m a pretty boring person when I’m alone. I do a little karate around the apartment, sing, talk to my cats, and read. If there’s a TV, I watch TV. When my husband dies—whether I’m old or young—I’ll just go on being boring and alone. I imagine that, if I’m still here, I’ll learn to use his saws and drills. I’ll learn to make furniture and continue his business and become self-sufficient. I’ll learn to drive in this city without getting distracted. Or maybe I’ll take a job at my school, work forty-hour weeks, and pray to God that I can pay the rent. I don’t think I would pick his dirty clothes up off the floor or delete his woodworking stuff from the computer.

How would time pass when it was just me? Slowly, probably, like a fingernail dragged across a bloody scrape. Boring and painful. Someone waiting at a stoplight that won’t turn green. I’ll have to turn the television on for noise.

Of course, if I was alone here and died the kittens would probably start eating me before anyone wondered what the smell was.

Maybe then they’d fly me home and bury me in the graveyard behind my parents’ house. Or maybe in the cemetery where Granny’s buried. But if my husband is already dead, he will have been buried in a graveyard back home, too. Most likely, they’ll bury me with him. And that’s what I would prefer. Not because I believe that means we’ll be together in the afterlife, but for the symbolism. There in the mud our bodies decompose while our souls sing “Glory to God” in Heaven.

It’s not such a bad way to spend eternity.

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