People always talk about the first time they did something; the world seems to revolve around it. Parents remember the first time their children walked, the first time they talked, their first tooth and their first day of school. People remember their first kiss and their first date, their first job, their first car and their first real relationship. That’s the way life is supposed to be, a collection of firsts. They fill your memories and get re-experienced in your dreams. But for Eddie, it was all turned around, all backwards. He couldn’t remember the first time he did anything…but he remembered the last times.
His healthy body he had taken for granted; he had always had it and always would, or so he had thought. He sat in his chair and looked out the glass doors onto his patio and at the brilliant sunset painted in reds and oranges and startling violets across the expanse of sky, and none of the beauty registered in his consciousness. He sat in his chair, sipping a cold beer and the reflection on the window glass made a sort of canvas upon which the movie of Eddie’s lasts played over and over.
On it he saw Emily Connors as he picked her up in his arms and carried her to his bed, where he gently laid her down and then crawled on top of her, kissing his way up her body. He didn’t know that would be the last time he felt the full weight of a woman in his arms. He saw himself in the gym, his strong muscles pushing against the leg press for the 10,000th time, never guessing that the last time he slipped off the machine was the last time he ever would. He saw himself walking to the green and addressing the ball and sinking the four-foot putt, never considering in a million years that it was the last one of his life. He saw Betsy Sherrod, glistening with sweat as he took her hand, his last dance, and her glistening again later that night, his last fuck. For Eddie that one hurt the most. He prided himself in the pleasure he could give to a woman and now that thing in which he had assigned so much pride, so much of himself, was gone and nothing he could do would ever get it back.
It was times like this that Eddie was pleased that he didn’t own a gun.
Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.