A Ghost Of Her

He went out lookin’ for her…she’d been gone for a couple of days…like the time before that and the time before that…so-on and so-on…it was a recurring theme in their lives…ever so often…say every other month they’d go out and tie one on at the local bar drinkin’ cheap shots of whiskey and cans of PBR…always on an empty stomach…you’d find em out back pukin’ their guts out at the end of the night…weavin’ home in their Dodge pickup truck…cops were familiar with em…

This went on throughout the course of their marriage…ever since she said I do…a Polish weddin’ down at the VFW hall where her daddy was a member…they danced that night…everything from polkas to old Bobby Vinton songs…hired a DJ to spin daddy’s vynil collection otherwise known as the box of rocks…scratches on em makin’ em skip…they’d all smile and clap their hands to the music as the bride and groom did shots on the dance floor…little guys dressed in butterfly ties tried to steal kisses from sixth grade girls behind the purple stage curtin…sneakin’ sips of vodka left behind on tables by their fathers…mothers…brothers and sisters…folks circled up for the chicken dance…a bouquet of flowers was tossed and a mad scramble on the floor did ensue…tin cans tied to the truck…made a rattlin’ sound as they headed out of town to the lake where they’d spend the next few days makin’ wild Polish love….screamin’ and yellin’ into the night as beer cans and bottles piled up outside in the snow…a drunken love…

And they never had kids…sought advice from their parents…the church…a doctor down at the neighborhood clinic…they all said just keep on tryin’…they did…tried all the time…in the mornins ‘fore he went to work at the factory…evenin’ time when he first walked through the door…they spent the first two years of their marriage drunk and naked in the house they rented ’till one day she’d had enough…got dressed and walked out the door…was gone…she wasn’t at her parents…her siblings…no-where to be found…just vanished…leavin’ him in a drunken haze as to what happened…he’d go out and look for her to no avail…called the cops…put up posters ’round town…then a month later she’d come home…said she wound up down in New Orleans and she couldn’t find her way back…that was the first time…second time she took off for Denver…third time Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…he didn’t ask ’bout the other times and she didn’t know…everything was a dream-like state…a mystery with no clues…just torn dresses and bad breaths…

So…he took off after her this one last time…got to the edge of town and knew she was gone for good…stopped the truck and opened a beer…gave her a toast…then took a drive out to California where he stopped and looked at the ocean…turned ’round and headed back ‘cross country…through small towns and villages…big cities and long highways…pulled into his driveway only to see her there…a ghost of her…wavin’ goodbye…wavin’ goodbye…wavin’ goodbye…

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