Ready To Die

Watching. Looking at this dog on TV. It’s a puppy. A black one with traces of brown and white. He’s running through the snow into the arms of a pretty blonde lady next to her husband. It’s her Christmas gift.

And then, because she loves this man so much, she whistles and a brand new pickup truck appears. He’s thrilled. The snow is flying. A real sense of holidays.

Every time that commercial came on, the old man would watch like a kid salivating over chocolate. It wasn’t the truck or the puppy he loved. There was no warm feeling inside of giving. It was the blonde. That’s what he wanted.

The gray haired widower would lay there in the hospital bed with his children nearby. He’d hold his son’s hand a little tighter when the commercial came on. His daughter would pace the halls on business calls and check in on him every once in a while.

You see her? he asked his son. Look at her. Go on. Look, holding his hand tighter. I’m gonna marry her someday. She’ll be my girl, the old man told him.

Really? the kid asked. What makes you think that? he rubbed his eyes. The old man just kept looking at the television.

She’s mine alright. She’s gonna dump him for me. And, she’ll get me a truck too. Then we’ll drive around the U.S. in style. Holding each other’s hand as we walk the dog, the old man smiled.

Is that what you want pop? the old man nodded. You want her huh? She looks like a heartbreaker to me. Sure, she’s pretty. But, I’ll bet there’s a mean streak in her. She’s gotta be high maintenance. Women like that don’t come easy.

The old man nodded. So, he said. I don’t have a chance? his son shook his head. OK, he said. I’m ready to die.

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