Jonathan Ottke and Robert Haydon Jones

Image of Frying PAn


Jonathan Ottke
Response

Jiggle Memorial
By Robert Haydon Jones
Inspiration Piece

The idea of his wife suddenly dropping dead, say, just as she was leaning over toward him to ladle out yet another helping of her delicious scrambled eggs, immediately demolished him.

She was just about to turn 80. She and Eustace had left marriages for each other 45 years back. He was a selfish, vain, mean, besotted lover. She had flung herself at him and had gotten so stinking drunk and so insanely stoned that it was literally decades before she understood what she had done.

When she finally saw it, if you had asked her if she would do it again, she would have laughed her deep guttural laugh and said, “Of course.”

Then after a short silence, she would have said, “Of course,” again because she really liked what those words did to her and to him.

Of course, the sudden, interruptive thought had crushed him completely. He had loved her unceasingly all this time, that was the awful truth. When he envisioned her cascading backwards and hitting her head hard on the floor as the stroke snuffed her out, an awful lot came with. The fire department had been good. The ambulance team had been very good. They had even pushed on a tad longer than necessary after they realized she really was gone forever.

In the next milliseconds, Eustace notified the seven children, appeared at the Services, cremated his wife and let the dust settle. Then he was alone. It was awful. All this time, she had been his faithful companion. He was a great lover only because she knew he was.

The eggs were delicious as always. She was a brilliant cook. Eustace wondered if all brilliant cooks were fabulous lovers.

He doubted it but he didn’t know. That vexed him.

Christ, he loved his wife! Maybe a lot more than she loved him! How could he ever take her for granted again? It just wouldn’t be the same if he couldn’t take her and her sweet ass for granted.

What was he going to do? Was he a great lover or not?

 

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2 Comments

  1. Posted September 15, 2020 at 10:03 am | #

    A cri de couer that those of us of a certain age can certainly identify with. Bob Jones in a page has captured what we all must face.

  2. Dave Monroe
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 3:40 pm | #

    Damn great opening! And a short, visceral story. Lots of gusto. So much jam packed in so few words — awesome. There’s a doubt that hurts — the narrator is so certain of his love, but so uncertain of how good he is at being a lover. Good, strong stuff here.

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