[I wrote this on Christmas Eve, 2012]
The theme song of Star Trek The Next Generation, Susan’s ringtone, starts to play. Kim answers the phone.
Who could be calling from Susan’s phone? The phone is on Kim’s desk where it’s been since Susan died, exactly three weeks ago.
Kim: “Um, who’s this?”
Caller: “It’s me, silly! It’s Susan!”
Kim: “But you died. I saw you. I want you here more than anything, but you’re not here.”
Susan: “Oh, you mean that whole dying thing? The gasping for air? Oh pshaw. I wasn’t ready to go yet, so I just made everyone think I’d left so I could come back later.”
Kim: “Come back and do what?”
Susan: “Be with you and Gus, of course.”
Kim: “He thinks you’re with him all the time, whether or not he is actually looking up at a pink cloud, where you said we could always find you.”
Susan: “Well I am always with him. And you.”
Kim: “But you’re not. You’re not here here. You can’t listen to me complain about my aches and pains from soccer. You can’t cook for me. You can’t help me fall asleep at night.”
Susan: “I know. I’m really sorry. It was the only way I could stay. I had to slip into your hearts. And into your ears of course because you know that I have a lot to say and sometimes you tune me out but this way I get to to talk and talk and you have to listen even if I’m talking about nothing because even when I’m talking about nothing I’m in your ear I mean you remember about Boutrous Boutrous Golly and how I could go on and on about his wife Polly and their kids Holly, Molly and Wally and that they had a collie and rode the trolley?”
I should feel comforted because I can hear her inside my ear, whether I want to or not, offering her advice, commenting on what I’m doing, etc. But it doesn’t give me comfort. She isn’t here.
Yes, she had to go; she was so terribly sick.
No time would have been a good time.
I wasn’t ready.
And neither was she.