You Don’t Have To Say Anything—Elaine Bonow
You Don’t Have To Say Anything
I thought I’d better stop by sooner than later don’t you think. That’s Okay, you don’t have to say anything. I might as well have a drink. You know me always prepared. I have my adult Sippy cup “drank” already mixed up, Goose as usual. You know I never drink anything else still to this day, just pure juice.
Always have been a bit of a lush even from the first time we met, remember? What a long time ago it was and it seems like a long time ago too. We were so young and beautiful. Yes, we were beautiful people you and me. I’m glad we met. We sure had an interesting life or should I say interesting lives. I know, I know, getting married so young was stupid, not stupid but fast with the war looming and escalating and shit.
Back in 63, we were so unsure about life, unsure about the future, with the civil rights and JFK and MLK murdered with the Beatles and Mary Wells singing in the background. All the uncertainty, and shit, it’s lucky we made it out alive.
You especially were lucky not getting drafted by the skin of your flat feet, and well, I saved you too by marrying you. Thank God we have such nice children. That at least, I have to thank you for. A boy for you and a girl for me, just like in the song. Hell, we lived a whole opera, you know?
First love, young college lovers, me working to support your ass through law school, typing all that crap day after day when all I really wanted to do was go to New York and become a star, singing on Broadway and hoofing it in Times Square.
Remember, I was so gorgeous then, perfect figure, perfect face. No Lana Turner but I could hold my own in a pageant, I know what you you’re thinking damn it. Then, and then the baby, our baby the precious George popped out. He looked like a George right from the first. Not fancy like an Ernest or a Kennedy. Remember how everybody named their babies after the poor old dead Kennedys: Jacqueline, Carolyn, Teddy and even Ethel, for god’s sake.
Hold on, hold on, wait a sec, don’t interrupt me. I need a drink. All this talking gets my mouth so dry especially as I did smoke a joint before I got here. Yeah, I can still roll a perfect joint after all these fifty years. Hell, it was probably the drugs that got us in trouble in the first place.
I know you always thought it was me but you were the one who was so ready to experiment with all kinds of stuff, you old horn dog. The open marriage idea was definitely your original idea. You don’t have to say anything. I know you told me we would always be together even after you met that bitch Sandra. Oh yes, her, the bitch Sandra. There, I said it again, the one you married after me.
I was pregnant again. You were such a liar remember. Admit it. Let me tell you what happened. You didn’t just go camping with the gang. Gayle told me years later. You went with the bitch to a hotel for a dirty weekend, ya bastard. You just lied to me and kept on lying to me. For so long I actually believed you.
Well, I needed to believe you with two kids and no career and let me tell you by that time my body was in no Follies Bergere shape. No Siree Bob. I was a tank with sagging tits and a wide ass.
I was glad when you left. Well, glad after a year or so and after I met Old Mitchell, who treated me OK except for his little S&M fetish. That’s when I started drinking really. I just couldn’t find me. Thank god we, I mean you and me, didn’t have any more kids together. I mean you sure added to the burden of this good earth’s resources by having that brood with the bitch. Ha, she sure changed huh. Ha, now who’s the fat slob? Not me I tell ya.
Our kids are doing good too. Have you seen George lately? He’s living with his nice wife and our beautiful grandchildren are so great too. Getting big now. Almost grown up. I know you have been out of touch as well as out of reach living in Thailand with your harem, oh I mean hotel staff.
Davis is a fine woman too, although I think when we gave that beautiful child a boys name, well you know, now don’t get me wrong. If it wasn’t for Davis and her wife, I wouldn’t have a pot to piss in. Social Security ain’t for sissies. I can pay them some rent and my food stamps come in handy and I do take care of Yoko’s old mother who makes me feel young and spry cause she’s even older than me.
You’re almost seventy-five and I’m already seventy-one. I feel old as fuck. I guess I’ll have a drink to that and on that note since my Sippy cup is almost empty and my ice is near melted I’m gonna take my tired ass outta here and back to our daughters house. Again, thank god she wanted to take me in and I didn’t end up in a cinderblock high-rise with bat shit crazy neighbors dying on either side of me.
I’m still glad we met those many years ago. Life is what we make it and in the end we all die friends. Don’t worry about me, my friend the night watchman will let me out. I know your other family will be for the service. George and Davis will be at the service too. They wanted to be here. I don’t want to be here so I am staying home with all the grandchildren and old grandma.
Laurel got up from the folding chair with the help of her cane. She made sure the jar top was screwed on tight so the dregs of ice and lemon peel wouldn’t spill in her purse. As she placed the jar carefully in the oversized bag she rummaged around until she found her old metal cigarette case and extracted the specially rolled joint, a Sativa/Indica hybrid strain she grew herself in the basement of her daughters house.
She lifted the lower top of the oaken casket and carefully put the joint between the fingers of her first ex-husbands hands. She carefully closed the casket and shambled towards the back door of the funeral home and her waiting Access bus.