He heard the train coming through town. Real fast at first then slowing down as the brakes squealed. The sun was out reflecting on the snow. He shoveled bit by bit to the rhythm of the train. And when it stopped, so did he.
Taking a brake, the old man took out a flask of whiskey from his coat pocket. Sweat rolled down his weathered face. Old and lined, seasoned, with a nose that was swollen and ruddy. He took his drink then could hear the train starting up again. The short, squat, man got back in the groove; placing the snow off to the side. He was becoming short of breath, but, kept going. As if he were on a mission.
And, he was on a mission. He wanted to die. Leave this world behind. It was suicide by shoveling.
Faster and faster he went. Keeping up with the music of the train. Breathing heavily. He figured he was worth more dead than alive. His wife watched from the front living room window.
They had talked about it. The married couple of forty-two years decided this was best. No longer able to make house payments, or, keep up with bills, the insurance policy was taken out; a hundred grand in his name. They figured she could live on that.
Soon, the old man was bent over in the driveway. He tried to shovel one more pile, but couldn’t. He fell over in the snow. Held onto his heart. And yelled out, so long Marie.
She poured herself another cup of coffee and waited. Waited for the right time to dial 911. She looked through old pictures of when they were young. When he had hair. And, she had all her teeth. Trips across America with the kids. The kids that barely talked to them anymore. She smiled. It was a good day to die.