Sunday, May 04, 2008

When the Bubble Bursts

When he was a boy his older brother and sister told him to stay inside because it was too windy. His ears were so big, they explained, that if a strong gust caught him it would lift him away and he'd never see home again.

As they walked away outside he pressed his forlorn face up against the window.

At our home-owners' association meetings he was always the funny guy.

Another time they told him that a fairie had buried pennies beneath a bush by the front of their house. His younger sister was also told this. She went to the kitchen and got a spoon so she could dig. He, instead, went to the shed and got a huge crowbar. Accidentally, he drove it down upon her pinky finger.

His big brother heard the cries and came out and picked up the little girl in his arms and she quieted down. Then he told his little brother that he'd just killed his sister, which he believed for a while. The parents came along. The little sister got a couple stitches and she was just fine.

Whenever I took our household trash out to the dumpster there were always lots of empty beer cans in it. Coors Lite. Fucking awful plonky swill, that shit.

He grew up and married, had a daughter that he loved more than anything in the entire world, but things didn't work out and after the divorce he rarely saw her.

He was dogless, except for that time he took care of a poor shy little abused black Labrador Retriever that one of our other neighbors found out on the streets. We took her in, and now she's a big healthy strapping lass.

When we dog people were out and about he was there with us too. Sometimes, if his gate and door were open when it was nice, the dogs would run into his place and sniff around.

His little custom construction business failed. He had to let his workers go and he felt like he'd let them down.

About one-third of all the money generated by the Valley economy comes from the housing business, and that has been sliding into recession due to defaults. A lot of his work came from people buying, remodeling, and flipping houses. The market for that has cooled. Home sales are down 19% compared to a year ago.

Last Sunday his brother-in-law broke into his home through the back door. They hadn't heard from him in a few days, he wasn't answering calls, and his truck hadn't moved from its parking spot.

"Don't come in here," he said to his wife, the sister who dug for phantom pennies with him long ago. She knew.

He was shirtless, the room was littered with empty beer cans ankle-deep, and he had put a pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Probably the Thursday before, the police estimated.

We're memorializing him by putting in a tree. A lemon tree.


wunelle said...

Ugh. How sad.

Another legacy of W's little revolution.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, shrimplate.

Life just isn't fair. In fact, it often just plain sucks.

In fact, the only times it really doesn't suck is when someone takes the time to remember that a friend, a relative, or just a stranger is a real person, full of the divine inheritance.


--Charles from Mercury Rising.

may said...

sad. the lemons are very appropriate. i guess there are times when it is just too hard to make lemonade out of lemons, even if you knew you can.

Ruth said...

Just lots of commas to the investor type, just like all of us. Thanks for thinking about him.

Becca said...

At least he is remembered for who he was, what he did, and the positive things he brought to the world.

Menschliches, alles zu Menschliches.