Time Goes On

Short Story
Written by -M. Taggart

 

‘She was 83. She had three more days. They told her that. We had just left the cancer center.’

It was cold. We stood next to the dumpster. I heard squirrels.

‘Yeaaah, She told me one thing. Only one thing during our drive from the cancer center to her home.’

The squirrels rattled on. Uncaring.

I raised my head with understanding. Trying not to look at any one of the squirrels.

‘I remember it like it was yesterday. I tell you. Don’t blink. I know you watch your son all day. I see you with him and how busy you are. But don’t blink. It’ll all be over. Time just goes by and I’m a lot older than you. I look at my hands and I don’t know who’s hands they are.’

He used the word just. Where are the squirrels.

‘My mother said, “It happens so fast.” And that’s all she said. For the entire drive. She knew she was gone. I guess after someone know’s they are gone there’s not much to say.’

‘Time is a funny thing.’ I said, ‘It’s not real. We created it to fit out personalities. When you rock your infant, who has a double ear infection and croup with a fever while he’s screaming for an hour, you pray to God to help him feel less pain. That time is standing still. That time you’ll remember and it’ll never stop. No. Time to me is a funny thing. Light is not straight. You know this.’

The men next to the dumpster laughed.

‘So anyway, Matt, my mother was dying and I was driving her back from the clinic. She had only three days left on this Earth.’

***

-M. Taggart
copyright 2018

 

Shirt? Let me wriggle-

Parenting is trying to remember what shirt you have on without looking down.

Since you don’t want to cheat, you wriggle your body to try and determine which shirt it is.

People looking at you think you’ve developed a nervous twitch.

This is no nervous twitch. You think/say a portion of that thought out loud, ‘Nervous twitch.’ Is all that comes out.

No, this is being awake most the night for three nights in a row because your two year old has croup and can’t sleep unless they are propped up. On you. And because you can hear the stridor in their breathing, you don’t care how many nights they will need your shoulder, or how many shirts you’ve mentally misplaced, or how twitchy you’ve become.

 

A Flower for Mom –

Our father said we’ll leave early, get groceries, and flowers for mom
we picked up stones in the driveway. that always made him happy
it was hot and we were dirty but we didn’t care because we’d make mom smile
noon came and went and he still hadn’t gotten out of bed
we left picking rocks behind and looked for flowers in the field
we were lucky to have a field
most don’t have a field

-M. Taggart