Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer

Developing a Story – Day One and Two

The writing assignment is to write something every day. Submit a sentence or a very short piece. Just write. I am taking this as an opportunity to rethink how to tell the story of me and Em. Change the narration, change the names, change what happened, even change who died, but get the guts of the story told. I am also working on at least two other stories, trying my hand at a plane crash story, and a sensual exploration story.

Elise wrote in her Kindle diary, “When He was physically here, we used to celebrate all month, my birthday in August and his in September, a little note each day, a message on the erase board or chalk magnetic sheet that covered half the fridge and we’d change the number each day through the month. See we didn’t want to put everything on one day because who knows what can happen in one day.” Then she was moved to write a poem, since it was a year and seven months exactly since He died, his last conscious sentence a distant echo she hears sometimes that if listened to for too long still burns the scar on her heart, “Take me home, please, please, take me home, I want to go home.” He died forty-two hours later at three forty in the morning, thirty-one days after his last hospital admittance on his favorite floor at Smilow with his favorite nurses doing what they could to make him comfortable.

September Day 1 (I am tracking entries of a writing assignment for each day in September, to write a sentence or paragraph or two, keeping it short. The assignment is to get one in the habit of writing each day, even if for ten minutes.)

September Day 1

She had her head on his chest for hours, listening to his heart play its last syncopated rhythm and his last breath so quietly sung she barely felt his chest move. —-end day 1—- It was three years to the day that his father had died, only four hours apart.

Nineteen Months

When smiles and gentle words of kindness

Feel like embraces longed for

When hugs and affectionate touch

Melt stiffened scars aged in time

When the scars have softened

And the inner harsh voices have hushed

A scarred heart beats with less ache

A soul suffers not so much

And an angel quietly folds her wings around me.

 

September Day 2

Twenty years earlier

Elise was alone in her three-bedroom house, her tenant wasn’t home yet from work. At six feet tall and legs with thirty-six inch inseams on her jeans, weight was a frequent up and down battle, as high as mid-three-hundreds and as low as one-seventy, which was too low for her brain to think straight, like reaching to answer the phone when the doorbell rang. Granted, it only happened twice. “It’s just me doing my blond thing,” she would say, passing it off as a joke which was funny, but she was literally starving, and not sleeping for more than two or three hours a night.

 

There was more hair than usual coming out in the hairbrush as she brushed her long blond hair which almost reached her butt. Some got on her black tank top, she picked it off, took a sip of her coffee, put out her cigarette, and typed. “Fucking food, fucking hunger, fucking weight and body mass, I despise the constant struggle, the constant starving, except if I…”

 

September Day 3

Elise continued “…If I get hungry enough the hunger starts to go away, then the ache just becomes a numbness, a black hole, and the beast is calm for a while, although I have to make sure I do arm and leg exercises, a hundred reps each, so my body doesn’t eat all the muscle away and the flab and loose skin don’t take over. I am just eating a few spoons of peanut butter during the day, a few hundred calories. And, why do I lose my nice tits when I lose weight? Why not my ass or belly? That’s just not right. I’ll be right back. I need more coffee, and another cigarette…”

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