Years in the Future

Well, I woke up this morning with the worms. At least, I think it was morning. I can’t really tell what time of day it is down here. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to get up and stretch my legs, so my muscles are rather cramped right now.

It does seem that my hearing has enhanced since I’ve been down in this box. I can hear people walking around all day long. A lot of them just seem to be around to trim or water the lawn, but there are a quite a few that come here to visit my friends down here or myself. Some of them weep, some talk to God, and then some just talk to us. My new next door neighbor has his wife as a frequent visitor. Her stories are nice to listen to.

“Oh, Dave, you wouldn’t believe what Suzie did today,” she was saying right now. Suzie was their daughter, I think. “She looked up at me and said ‘Mommy, does Daddy’s feet still stink in heaven?’ and I started laughing and then she started laughing and we miss you so much.” Dave’s wife had a lot of stories about Suzie that start out funny and sweet and end in tears.

My box is rather hot and stuffy today. I suppose it’s summertime now. Sometimes it does get rather cold, and that must be in the winter. I don’t like how stuffy it gets. I’m rather claustrophobic and get headaches from the heat in the box. Today is one of the headache days.

On days like today, I find myself wishing that I could float up and join the people. I imagine what I would do. I would like to walk down the street and maybe even get an ice cream. I used to like to sit in the park and people watch. I would probably do that on a day like today. I liked the summer.

The day passes slowly when I don’t know what’s going on around me. Sure, I can hear what’s going on up there, but that doesn’t always clue me in. The gardeners seem to come by all hours of the day so it’s hard to follow the passage of time by listening to them.

“Tina?”

A voice right above me. A voice I think I recognize. Was that my name? How long had it been since someone had come to see me?

“Tina, it’s me, James.”

James. My husband. I remember now.

“Our son graduated from college today. He’s going to Harvard.” He was shuffling his feet, I could hear them moving around above me. “I’m sorry it’s been so long. There’s been a lot going on…the graduation and college prep and…I…I started dating again. Her name is June. I know you would laugh about that because you always thought it was funny when people were named after months.”

I laughed a little.

“You always said I shouldn’t feel guilty when I finally put myself back out there, but I do. You were it, Tina. But it’s been six years and I’m lonely. Especially with Matt going off to college soon. I just really wanted to come and tell you this. And I still miss you. So much.”

There was a sound of something being set down. He probably brought flowers.

I sniffed, wishing I could smell them through the box and the dirt.

“Tina?” This voice came from next to me. My new neighbor, Dave.

“Yes, Dave?”

“Congratulations on your son. Harvard. That’s so great.”

“Thanks, Dave.”

The stuffiness and the heat were lessening now. The sun was probably going down. I missed seeing the sunset. I tried to picture it, but it just wasn’t the same. The day is over now and I suppose I’ll go back to sleep. If I wasn’t asleep already. Sometimes it’s hard to tell down here.

Goodnight.

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