24 Days

As of yesterday, Wednesday, August 20, at 8:30 PM I had gone 24 days without a cigarette.

I felt all day long at the end of my rope and fit to be tied (a rather confusing rope metaphor, since if I was the end of my rope I don’t know if there would be enough to tie me up).

But I woke all upset upon remembering that Carol and I had not been able the previous day to locate her father’s ashes.  We have had those ashes for some time now; we drove down to Escondido to get them when Carol’s mom remarried and felt it would not be appropriate to have the ashes of her former husband hanging around in the dwelling she shared with her new husband.  Sounds overly sensitive to me; but I don’t know the prevailing etiquette in such situations.

One might also ask—and I think the etiquette vague in this area too—why the hell were the ashes just hanging out and not in the ground or a mausoleum.  If they had been buried Carol and I would not have had to go through the agony of losing them.  But Carol’s mom wanted us to hold onto the ashes until she, herself, died; and then it would be Carol’s duty to bury them both in the same place.  

In a way, it’s all my fault.  Carol has not been sleeping well and I told her she was waking up at night because unconsciously she was troubled about not yet having buried her parents as the one last thing she needed to do to end her responsibilities as trustee for her mother’s estate.  And then when he couldn’t find the ashes, I thought it was my fault because I had hidden them in a closet (so Carol wouldn’t see them) and I had kept track of them for years; but last summer we cleaned up that closet and somehow they had been removed from that closet to lord knows where.

I did remember, thank goodness, where I had hidden Carol’s mother’s ashes (so she wouldn’t have to see them hanging around).  So Wednesday morning the first thing we did was start looking again for Carol’s father’s ashes.  We looked all over and then decided to look in the garage.  I felt upset that we might have stuck Jack’s (Carol’s father) ashes in the garage because—while the etiquette is vague here too I think—somehow sticking a person’s ashes out with the car did not seem appropriate.

But that’s where we found them—in the garage and Carol went off with her mother and father’s ashes to cemetery to look into buying a plot.

I did not go with her because by this time what with no cigarette and the missing ashes I was about to jump out of my skin and couldn’t stand the idea of looking at a plots.

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