This house is haunted. Not by Bob. I am the ghost who wanders these dark, gloomy rooms. I am the voice heavily sighing in the corner. A long low involuntary sigh. Then there's Zenith. I see her shadow, peaking around the door. I see her on my bed at night, back turned to me, licking her paw. Zenith is still here, Zenith haunts the house with me, and I wonder: where is Bob? where is Boomer?
A long time ago, when Bob and I had one of those obligatory married couple talks, the what-to-do-if-I-die talks, I told Bob that if he went first, that he better come back and haunt me. He laughed and promised he would "haunt my ass" (his words, well actually he would have said "your ass"--anyway) and then he said, if he couldn't do that, one day I would be sitting on the porch and a little red bird would land on the railing and look at me and that little red bird would be him or a message sent from him.
I think of this now, a little red bird, and I wonder why he chose red -- and if he chose red, or if I only imagined "red" and maybe he just said a "little bird". But I have seen no bird, red or not, on the porch railing. I have seen no ghost of Bob. I have gotten no messages from the beyond. Not even in my dreams.
Only Zenith is still here, peaking around the corner. A flash of Siamese fur in the hallway, a dark tail disappearing through a doorway.
And Bob exists only in my imagination, in my mind, in his pictures and art on the walls, in the things we collected together, the stories we shared. In a box of ashes on my memorial table.
Long ago, before we were married, I told Bob (and I don't remember why, or what we were talking about) but I told Bob I had never received a dozen roses. Not once. In my entire life. No one ever sent me a dozen roses. I had received, of course, flowers, but never a whole dozen roses.
Bob was poor then, recently graduated from art school, unemployed and looking for work. And he wanted to be the one to buy me a dozen roses, but he couldn't afford it and so, he drew me a picture of a dozen roses and matted and framed it, himself.
He gave it to me, saying, that now I "would never be without a dozen roses".
|A Dozen Roses by Bob|
I still have a dozen roses. I will always have a dozen roses.
Outside, it continues to rain. The sky is weeping and so am I.