Irene’s lovely spirit had indeed changed Jack over the years. Spring was coming now, and he looked back at his winter as having been worthwhile. Since Irene’s death, he had helped many people on the streets, and some of them had even gotten off the streets. He had wanted to spend as little time as possible fretting in his lonely apartment, and had thought of many novel ways to somehow make their lives more bearable. He had a pretty good instinct about people, and knew which ones would make good use of some cash, and which would be better served with some groceries, a hot meal, and some extra blankets. Some he even brought home for a time.
On a particular morning, actually the official first day of spring, in his 70th year, his phone rang. Doctor’s office. Could he please come tomorrow to see Martin Smith? The secretary sounded a little off. Jack could tell, because he had known her for years.
So, this was how he got the news about his Cancer. Inoperable, but, with a treatment regimen, he had a chance, had a chance. Without, there were no guarantees.
Something was going through his mind now. Something Irene had always said. Don’t fret, Jack, don’t fret. It does no good, and will only eat away at you. Enjoy today.
Soberly, he packed a few things, made some sandwiches. Pulled his last will and testament out of its file and laid it on his work desk. Drafted an email to a select few, scheduled it to be delivered in a few days, and pressed Send. Then got in his car.
Jack was not going to the hospital. No Sir, not this guy. I’m not having anybody mooning over me for weeks while I lie drugged up with tubes and wires. Just like dear old Dad. No thank you.
He drove to the bank, withdrew a good sum in cash, and more in prepaid cards. This would be his last trip uptown. He’d meet some new people, and some old friends he had made, wish them well. Say some farewells. Visit the kids and say nothing. Just make sure they were okay.
Jack knew of a bridge under construction a little ways out of town. The road was closed, and there would be no workers there today. Neat and tidy.
Just at dusk, he pulled up to the barricades, got out, and managed to move one enough to squeeze his car through. All quiet on the western front. He had a little cry, for Irene, for this ending of things, for his nagging pain that had been with him for weeks. He stood by his car as the rain came streaming down. Tears in the rain, Hah! Sorry, Irene! I’m coming Thelma! I’m coming, Louise!
It was a good five hundred yards to the drop off. Plenty of room.
The last thing he thought of was an old song.
McCartney said it best.
But Oh, that magic feeling….nowhere to go.
Oh, that magic feeling, nowhere to go.
Follow Jack in a previous story…..
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.