Sunday, October 31, 2010

Livin' on Silver -- an Afternote

These pieces about my time living on Silver are for Kimmie.

The last time I talked to Kimmie was in the summer of 1991. She called me from a hotel room in Oklahoma. She had left J. and was living with a younger man. They were trying to make a go of it out there on the prairie. She tearfully and joyfully told me she was pregnant. She had always wanted to have a little girl, so she could raise her better than her mother had raised her. She said that J. was too controlling. But now she was pregnant and she loved this redneck kid she was shacked up with in a motel. I imagined her in a place like the hotel in Sam Shepard's Fool For Love . . .

I was insistent she get settled soon. She sounded manic. She told me she missed living near me, that she missed her girlfriends, but she was "happy! oh so happy!"

That evening, I felt strange about her call. There was something wrong about it. I hadn't heard from her in two years and the way she said Good Bye was too final. But I chalked it up to the oddness of growing old, of growing apart from friends, distance would create these conundrums for me, I thought.

Two days later, the phone rang during dinner. Py answered it. It was J. He was calling to tell us Kimmie had shot herself with a shot gun in the motel in Oklahoma. J. wanted us to come to the funeral in Jacksonville. Of course, we said, of course we will be there. J. wanted the young boy investigated, but the police insisted Kimmie killed herself. She left no note. But apparently she had called all her old friends and told them how happy she was, how pregnant she was, and her Good Byes were said, and I thought, she didn't need to write a note, her phone calls were her Suicide Letter.

Bless you Kimmie, I miss you.

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