“1968 Came Too Late For Some” by Anne Highley-Smith

Every so often I stare at the blue material of my cubicle and think about death and what’s on the other side because what kind of monster would create the human race only to watch it suffer and rot in its own filth and excrement and laugh in excitement as it kills innocent men and women and I know there’s nothing I can do because all I do anyway is sit at my desk and work and file and file and file and sometimes the numbers blur together and sometimes the numbers aren’t even numbers at all because they are my friends and I sit at my desk and talk to my friends but they aren’t very talkative and don’t usually talk back even though I wish that they would and people around me would stare and giggle and they don’t think that I notice but I do and I even noticed that one time they spit in my coffee and the other time they stole the picture of my late wife because they thought I was lying about being married to her and I know this because I heard them not really whispering by the water cooler about how could a guy like me could get a bombshell like her and I laughed and I laughed and I laughed so hard that they heard me and I started screaming something but I honestly couldn’t tell you what so the fat security officers had to drag me away kicking and cussing at the men and all I remember is going limp after a pain in my left arm started to stab my heart so after I woke up at the hospital three days later when a man in a white coat told me they had to knock me out to make sure I was mentally stable and I looked at him and asked who he was to judge who was mentally stable and to that he replied that he was a doctor which only made me laugh hysterically until I couldn’t breathe and I started coughing and coughing and I swore I saw the face of my dear Lilliana and I reached for her but she disappeared when my fingers got close and I cried so hard it felt like the world was shaking and I was shaking so violently that nurses ran in to put me in restraints but I didn’t care because all that I loved in the world was gone so in that way my world was shaking and had been for six years since the accident back when there was a time I could have been happy with the girl of my dreams and back then I would have agreed with those guys at the water cooler because she was a total bombshell and I honestly couldn’t believe a guy like me could get a stunner like her but she was more than that she was my life and wife and my best friend but somehow I couldn’t be happy with just that and night after night after two years of marriage I would go out to the bar where I would sit alone and think about death in its various forms and night after night she would come pick me up and we’d sit in silence the whole ride home until one night I was tired of all those damn car rides where the silence compressed me until my spine became gelatinous and had to ooze out of the seat upon arrival at our home where we were supposed to raise our family so I was determined to make her speak to me and we were nearly halfway home on a deserted dirt road but when I finally turned to her to make her look at the man she married she spoke for first time during these excruciating car rides and said she wanted a divorce and it was then that I should have been put in restraints not at this hospital where the doctors don’t know their hand from their prick but instead I put on my seatbelt and watched her bemused expression with a twinge of satisfaction as I pulled the emergency brake as hard as I could and continued to watch her face shift from disbelief to terror as the car spun wildly out of control and into a tree where her face collided with the windshield.

Profile: Anne Highley-Smith

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