I’m let into her office.
She greets me with a firm handshake and offers me a drink.
Her office is dim, broken blinds pulled shut. A haze of smoke near the ceiling.
You’re cute. A little too old for me, but cute.
Do I intimidate you? Most men find me intimidating. God knows why…
She hands me a drink and sits behind her desk, pushing piles of paper to the side.
I was asked here as a consultant. My columns have given me a sort of respect – a name as someone who knows how to deal with things not typical. Something strange happening? Call me.
She spreads the files and photographs in front of me. I recognize the men from the photographs on her desk and behind her on the wall. She was once married to all of them.
They won’t leave me alone…constantly fighting. They never knew each other alive…I don’t know why they bother sticking around here.
I can hear my last husband screaming…all the surgeries he went through at the end…mouth cancer, you know? The sound is horrible. A wailing that not even the most base animal could make.
She offers me a cigarette and I shake my hand, leaning back to take in the pictures that cover the wall behind her.
Pictures of her in the war on the Mexican border, newspaper clippings, copies of her newspaper advertisements.
I was only directly responsible for one person’s death. Outside of war.
Yet…he doesn’t seem to come around like the others.
I had found out that this guy was cheating on his wife…and his wife, the crafty woman, was black mailing his mistress…in the end, after exposing it all, the husband killed the other guy…what a mess.
She takes a long drink and lights another cigarette.
I just wish the dead would stay quiet.
She sighs and takes the photographs from me, neatly putting them back into a file.
We raise our glasses to each other. Sometimes, even when you know for certain there is nothing you can do, you just have to let it all out – explain it to someone who is outside of the situation.
Sometimes, you just need to talk.