I have not written in a month. A great deal has been happening, much of it beautiful, all of it fascinating. Someone else was making plans, I was living.

Today, 1 April, is the sixteenth anniversary of my wedding to Emma. So much has taken place since then, meeting her family, moving to South Philadelphia, discovering the mysteries of pancreatic cancer. Emma now watches over me from an urn on the shelf, having witnessed the five years of my life since her departure in relative silence. I would so like to hear her opinions.

After Emma left I retired, focusing on a life of writing, letting go of the stress of the world in which we had lived. You know me, the dreamer. I wrote a book, kept a daily blog going, learned a new language, and gained a score of pounds as I discovered Belgian beers.

New stresses were waiting around the corner. C’est la vie. This is, after all, where Emma wanted me to be, alive, doing what she could not. My retirement savings were designed for a solitary life in South Philadelphia, after watching them evaporate I find myself back in the workforce, writing less and less often, and once again single.

Today is also an intermediate step in the marriage I entered after Emma moved on. The divorce papers are being delivered, with which my current wife and I will attempt to convince the State of New Jersey to end our marriage. These are melancholy times, I do not have ill feelings towards my wife, in fact in many ways I still love her, but time and space never quite placed us on the same plane. It’s so much easier when your ex is the object of disgust, divorcing someone you love is counter intuitive.

Emma steps in to help again. I loved her, but I moved on. So again, I move on.

I had largely lost the desire to live alone, that has not changed. Other people have come into my life, one of them quite a bright star at the moment. I would like for that to develop into a relationship which would rival mine with Emma, but I have learned that promises are not always fulfilled. I have also learned that tomorrow is not even promised, so today is all I have. And today is far more interesting than I had expected it to be.

Which brings us to today, April Fool’s Day.

Emma and I were both the others third spouse. She had been widowed twice, we entered quoting Oscar Wilde, “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.” This being each of our third, April Fools day seemed a natural. She was supposed to out live me.

My friend used to love “practical jokes,” yet they were neither, usually just rude and crass. This was sad, because John was such a warm and loving family man and trusted friend. One year when he was at lunch I placed a “While you were out” note on his desk, saying a witness wanted him to call, the name was “Coati Mundi.” There was a phone number, that of the small mammal house at the Philadelphia Zoo. I happened to know the person who would answer the phone and hear him say “Hello, this is Detective Murphy, may I speak with Coati Mundi?”

Coatimundi, native to Brazil

Coatimundi, native to Brazil


They both laughed about it later. That’s what life is about. Being able to laugh about it later. Make it easier by laughing today. What purpose is served by any other action?






4 comments on “Life

  1. Mari Collier says:

    It is true that women are supposed to outlive men, but I thought marrying someone younger would negate part of the long time alone. It didn’t. I applaud your wanting to live with someone again. I do not wish to go through that agony again, plus, no one appeals to me. To put it in simple term, they are not my love. Am I stuck in time? Perhaps, yet even when the pain was the deepest, I could still laugh. Loved the Coati Mundi story. There are also five novels and three anthologies that I have published since then. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike R says:

      Mari, to prefer what you experienced (and still value) is a form a contentment that few of experienced. You are blessed. Although I do not mean to make light of your pain or suffering. Or suggest that you do not suffer loneliness from the absence of your husband.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mari Collier says:

        To put it more bluntly, no one I have ever met begins to equal the man I hold in my heart. No, I’m not idolizing him. As my daughter puts it, men wonder why I don’t back down. They didn’t know the father I had.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Mike R says:

    Laughter is wonderful medicine. I admire your resilience, Blake. I’m not sure if it is the prerequisite to enduring the way you have, or if it is the product. Either way, I’m taking notes.

    Liked by 1 person

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