Fifth Session
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Some days itís almost okay. Some days I manage to get up and get going. I finally went back to work after three months extended leave and it was good to get back except Ė except people kept acting like nothing happened. Like someone pulled them all into a room and told them to pick up where they left off. From before I got the news.

But you donít have to hear about that again. Me? Iíd rather talk about the laundry.

You see, I washed clothes yesterday - Iíve put off doing Jimís until about a month ago. And even then I would only wash a thing or two. I mean, Iíd do a bunch of clothes for the kids and me and maybe wash one of Jimís socks Ė just one. One Sock.

Crazy, huh? Well of course you wouldnít say I was Ė even if you thought so.

Iíve been keeping all his dirty clothes in the basket my Aunt Della gave us for our wedding. That rose garden is beautiful...when I first started coming here everything was covered with snow...did you plant it?

  
 
Oh, yes, the basket. She made it just for us. Has our names woven into it Ė a red heart with our names, also in red, woven right into it like it was bleeding. Jim said it was her subliminal way of pointing out her distaste for our liberal attitudes. Aunt Della is a card-carrying, Bible-toting, from the womb conservative Republican.

We thought that basket was so damned ugly that we used it to hold rolls of toilet paper and cleaning stuff in the downstairs bathroom! Whenever Aunt Della visited us, we pulled it out, put a bunch of magazines in it and put in the living room like we used it all the time. God, we used to laugh about that. Oh boy, I think Iíll take you up on that offer of another tissue now. Thanks.

I know Ė I know... Where was I?

Yes. Well, yesterday when I did the clothes I realized that the basket was empty.

Empty. I was frantic Ė why didnít I notice it was empty? I was so upset; I cried most of the day. The kids were with my mother so they didnít see me.

As long as Jimís clothes were in that basket, I could smell him. I could feel where heíd been-even in his old smelly socks. Some nights I dumped the whole pile of clothes in bed with me and covered myself in them. Cover myself in Jim.

And now the last piece is gone. No ceremony, no notice on my part.

The fact that I havenít noticed is worse then finishing the last of his clothes. All of him is gone; all of what he smells like, gone.

And I didnít even notice...

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