Page 42 - Vol. VI #2
P. 42

Heart Attack (continued from preceding page)
Enda suddenly wanted to laugh. But Bobbi’s face
that talking help you avoid in your life, Bobbi? Talk, talk, talk. People who talk all the time are avoiding something in themselves.’ Now I ask you,” Bobbi said, chin jutted forward, “Does that sound like something Russ would come up with on his own?”
 was hard and defiant and so she held it in.
“She left me standing there in her hallway,” Bobbi continued, “and I heard her opening and clos-
ing doors in another room. She came back with a clean set of Russ’s clothes—apparently, he kept a whole other wardrobe in her closet. I helped him get dressed and got him into my car and drove him to the hospital.” Bobbi did smile then, and she leaned forward and gripped Enda’s hand hard. “I left Ann’s ‘share’ there in the driveway, the shat- in pick-up truck. I think it’s still there,” she added with a strident bark of laughter, “four days now, in this heat.”
Enda was already shaking her head. “No, it most certainly does not,” she agreed. She swallowed another mouthful of beer and looked at Bobbi hard. “Bobbi?” she said, “Dally-Boy has never told me he loves me. Not once, not ever.”
Enda was thinking that nothing in this life could surprise her anymore. But Russ cheating on Bobbi with his accountant? Bobbi had not once said a word about her marriage being disharmonious.
And then, even though she should have been the one comforting Bobbi, Enda began to talk about herself. Later she wondered what had come over her, what had made her divulge such deeply held secrets. But then again (she told herself), if we don’t hear our stories told out loud in our own voices, no matter how one-sided and misremem- bered, how would we ever understand our lives, let alone face death someday?
“Want to know how I knew something was up?” continued Bobbi, “with Russ and Ann?”
And so she told Bobbi about the gold ring with two tiny diamonds she had found among Dally’s belongings. She had been a young bride when she found the ring in a bureau, tucked into a leather pouch and rolled up in a tattered shirt he must have worn as a boy in Ireland. There were other items rolled into the shirt as well; a rock, train ticket stubs, and an article cut out from the Dub- lin papers about how the women in the Magda- lene laundries made the lace christening outfit for the Kennedy baby.
“How?” said Enda, hoping she didn’t appear too eager.
“It was twenty years ago. I remember because it was Mother’s Day, and the last time he said he loved me.”
Enda shook her head. An impetuous glow was building within her, spurring the idea that she needed to put something into motion. This was the afternoon beer of course, but the feeling that she needed to take a bold stand in her own life was true and clear. “Twenty years. Think of that,” she said to Bobbi.
Remembering that first year of marriage, how greedy she had been for that ring, made her un- derarms tingle. Nowadays she looked at the ring only occasionally, just to see if it was still there. But back in her younger days, she often took
“There was something else,” said Bobbi, “some- thing I believe every woman in my situation will recognize.”
it out of the pouch and tried it on. “One Friday while Dally was at work, I wore that ring the entire day,” Enda told Bobbi wistfully. “I felt like someone in a television commercial.” Daringly, she had even worn the ring to the dime store where she bought a small bottle of pink nail polish. When she returned home she sat herself
Enda nervously plucked a pretzel out of the bas- ket and bit down on it with her front teeth, scat- tering salt across the table.
Bobbi continued, “Russ began to say things that did not sound like him. Things like, ‘what does all

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