Staying With Mattie

by David James

I invited Henry to go out with me and Marge, suggesting he ask Ellen who he dated a while back and who still asked about him, but Henry shook his head “no” and said “out things” were just too boring at our ages — and besides, since his neighbor, Mattie's husband, Jinx, died a few months back, he spends all his free time reading to her, driving her around and visiting Jinx's grave and stuff, and because Mattie must have been in her mid-eighties, I admired Henry for being so loyal to her…but to cut off the rest of the world like he had was weird and it was as if he'd romantically bonded with her, but, then last weekend Mattie had a stroke and died so when Henry called and asked that Marge and I be there for the grave side services on Saturday we agreed and went, but because traffic held us up, we got to the cemetery a bit late and when we got there, as we were walking over to the grave-site, we saw Henry — with Ellen.