Kicking the bucket: Down the Road a Piece


Another Thanksgiving has passed, and I haven’t.

I’m old enough to have passed, but I haven’t. Sometimes I lay in bed and wonder what Dolores will do if she wakes up one of these mornings and finds me.

Dead. Wait, passed is a much nicer term.

I’ve had a good life, out in the woods a lot. And we still get out there. Of course, Dolores isn’t quite as happy in the woods as I am. She was raised in the suburbs of New York and eventually moved to Boston. And from there, her husband, Peter, and she moved to Maine.

She eventually divorced him. I’m not sure why, he’s a nice guy. And I haven’t asked her why. But she did, and she and I have been together since around 1993, first just together but eventually married.

She’s had an eye problem, which has meant she couldn’t go quite as fast as I could on some of the rougher trails. But now an eye surgeon thinks he can fix that eye. And now I’m getting old enough that it may not matter to me as long.

When I gave up my last “retirement job,” we could no longer afford the payments on our house, so we moved to this apartment from which on one side I view the woods….and the bigger trees in it have been here longer than I’ve been on ye olde earth. On another side we barely view the ocean, where the dock is busy in summer and empty this time of year.

Not bad, trees on one side and an ocean on another.

The man who sold my first wife and I our Swanville property had an office here in this coastal town. The building is used now for something else…..that realtor died. But we see the building every time we go downtown. And it reminds me of him. He sold my first wife and I the land for a house and helped us build the right house across the private road from his and his wife’s house in Swanville.

My first wife and I raised our kids there, neighbors out on the hard road gave us milk from their cow, and we used to take walks through nearby fields and woods, accompanied by our two dogs. (One of those dogs never came back after being stolen by some dog thieves, whom the sheriff told us were from Massachusetts and sold stolen dogs as hunting dogs.) The other came back one night, after having swum the width of Swan Lake. The other dog had a habit of biting her snap until he freed her. She came back, and wouldn’t go near the lake for a week or so. We never saw him again.

No dogs since she died.

And life moved on.

Until now, when I’m old enough to kick the bucket any day now. I think about that sometimes in the morning when I awake and look over to see Dolores sleeping next to me.

It will likely be a shock for her, that morning she wakes up and discovers I’ve gone ahead to the next set of trails.

She will face the problems of disposing of what remains of me, although we have planned for some institution to take our bodies for parts when we no longer need them.

Used parts! Get your used body parts here! High mileage but still useful!

But wait, what about that next life. Well, I guess I won’t need those parts in that life.

It will be a whole new group of trails.

Which I plan to enjoy.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at
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