Years later, she tries to focus on the details: the cinnamon sugar sticking to her shoulder. The thick fold of leaves overhead. The cold buttered toast wrapped in tin foil. The smell of his sweat mixed into the smell of pine needles.
I had long known and loved the song, "Closing Time," and then, when I reconnected with a dear friend, the amazing poet Suzanne Wise, this past fall, I got to meet Jacob Slichter, the drummer from the band, Semisonic, that did the song.
She went up onto her elbows. Stared into his gray blue eyes. The salmon-colored curls ringing his sweaty forehead. She saw the earnest look in his face. "So I think I would like the same thing," she said, not knowing her own voice.
She is weaker than she ever remembers being before. She can barely lift her head up above the white ceramic rim. She screams out, "Help me somebody! Help me, I'm dying in here."
With both Ben Jr. and Jack, Ronda more or less felt OK. Mild nausea always used to hit late in the afternoon, right about teatime.
When she finally opens her eyes, he is right there, right beside the narrow hospital bed. One knee raised, he has the custard-colored guitar cradled beneath his chin.
Ronda blushed and Jesús bowed slightly. "I'm afraid I must go inside now. Otherwise, there is a bride who will have no music." He reached down and only then did she notice the black guitar case beside his feet.
Ronda knows for certain when she got pregnant. And she knows exactly where she was. Provincetown. It was in May, the weekend of the 13th and 14th.
They peeled back the chenille coverlet off the double bed and made love on top of the blanket, before they were fully undressed. When they finally opened the bed, they made love again, in between the lavender-fragranced sheets.
"Jack, please, Jack, please come back, Jack! Please." But Jack hasn't heard a word she's said, and before she can say another word, he has fled the room and all she hears are his feet sprinting down the hall.