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She gazes out from the stage relieved this will be her final performance. Everything in front of her slows; it’s as if she’s a bystander in a Renoir painting, both present and absent, the people at their tables rendered so well they seem to be in motion. The faces in this crowd are not all that different from what she remembers back in her day, except they are far more diverse.
Grammy May stops abruptly and winces, a shot of pain passing from her neck to left shoulder and down to her elbow and wrist. She wishes everything were not so interconnected, that she might find relief from the electrical currents shooting across her body by short-circuiting some cluster of nerves, like flipping the breaker on the electric main.
Priscilla has moved on from her milkshake to the cheeseburger. “Grammy May told me she saw Muddy Waters play in Clarksdale when she was young.” His face lights up. “No way!” “Yes way,” Grammy May replies. “Many times, in fact. I even played with him when I got my start. He was very kind and introduced me to his musical friends. I wish today’s stars were more generous in helping the next generation make their way. From what I can tell, everyone is constantly promoting themselves on social media."
His mother was someone who preferred to burn her bridges before she got on them.
Grandpa swerved up the lawn looking like Frankenstein in search of unsuspecting villagers.
"It’s okay, dear,” my mother had protectively withdrawn from the room. The moistened index finger of her right hand circled the brim of her crystal water glass, producing a hypnotic hum that matched the wistful look in her eyes.
One son walked out the door never to return as another son walked in.
Henry sensed the journey was designed to both confuse and exhaust those already grieving, so when the price sheet came out, they would simply accept all terms, sort of like dealing with the back-room finance guys at your typical crooked car dealer. Except the car dealer guys have less class, no suits, no pocket squares. We are talking after all about death here.
"We all are, in fact, just like sedimentary rock, with layers heaped upon layers over time, with some bad things getting trapped in the rubble."
I’m out here in the future. I don't know how I got here. Time just went. I'm not even sure I know where
here is. Or where went went.
Doctor Williams got up and walked to the mantel where he wiped dust from the poinsettia leaves with a graceful swipe of hand. It was a dismissive motion, loaded with symbolism, as if he wanted to wipe away all the evil from human existence. Henry could see his face reflected in the gilt mirror. He seemed to be struggling with what to say next. It was his job to provide actionable advice, and this was a burden that weighed heavily on him at that moment. He turned and walked back, placing a comforting hand on Henry’s right shoulder. “It’s one of life’s greatest ironies that the people who love us the most are oftentimes the ones who hurt us the most.”
Ned had purchased this plot decades ago for himself and Vicki, undoubtedly causing quite a stir in Hades when he added Bunny’s ashes to the mix. One man and two women. A kinky underworld threesome. How fitting.
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