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  • Alan Allinger

Two Weeks After


Mother and I were walking up Davis on our way back from getting frozen vodka-rose to go from Oddfellows when we saw the sun burst forth from the cloud-cover like a soul leaving its mortal shell. We paused for a moment to appreciate the sight. Sipping on my drink I nodded in response to something she had said on our way there that had taken me some thirty minutes to process.

“Two weeks after the funeral, and yes, I do feel ... removed from it,” I finally replied. “Emotions creep in, but I cannot bring myself to indulge them for long.”

“It’s normal to fight those back,” she said. “There are still Things that must be Done, and of course it’s harder to do them through a veil of tears. This is a normal reaction under these circumstances.” I gave a very short snort of laughter.

“Maybe that’s what I find most exasperating,” I said. “I rather pride myself in regarding ‘normal’ as a setting on certain household appliances, not a description of my own behavior.” Mother nodded, intent on something, and was silent for the next block or two.

You’re trying to be the blue spot in the photo,” she told me finally, “but the blue spot isn’t really there. It’s only visible because of an imperfect refraction. It’s a ghost in the lens.” I could feel my lips pursing as I considered this, and then I nodded.

“One more week,” I said thoughtfully. “One more week, and I’ll take my appropriate spot in the image.” Mother smiled faintly.

“That seems like a good idea,” she said gently, “as long as you keep in mind that grief is always within the picture, and it cannot be held to a schedule.”

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© 2023 by Alan Allinger