Recently, I asked my good friend

Jackie Summers

if he wouldn’t like to submit a story to Sunday Read. He said “Sure, but you will need to challenge me with a photo”. So I took a photo and Jackie wrote a short fiction. Enjoy this weeks Sunday Read, folks…..

It’s snowing outside.  I’m in a strange home, (not) sleeping in a strange bed. The most stressful week of the most stressful month I’ve had in years has been magnified by a factor of ten by not speaking to you for five days.

Five. Whole. Days.  Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday.  Did I say days? It feels like weeks; months. Years.

In the course of playing the cards I’ve been dealt recently, I wondered if you thought of me. I feel alone, angry, abandoned. You made a very specific request for “space” (space? we’re thousands of miles apart) and I am determined to honor it.  “Love, honor, respect, communication, cooperation,” those are the five keys to family life, according to my Dad.  I figure the guy who pulls off the 56 year marriage gets to have some say in what works and what doesn’t.

They’re saying it’s the worst storm in New York City history. Twenty-six inches in two days. There hasn’t been this much continuous snow since the winter of 1947, the year my parents married. I wonder if there’s a correlation.

It’s hard to break the attachment to relationships, even once you know they’ve gone bad. I believe we still want the same things, we’re just not willing to go to the same lengths to get them. I changed the rules for you, broke new ground, rewrote the script; you’re unwilling to do the same. Ghosts of scarcity and not raw unchecked desire still dictate your decision making process.

I’ve enjoyed a blizzard of emotional support from family and friends, and yet, without you it all seems like snowflakes on my tongue: transient, inconsequential.  Without you, nothing matters. I have always been here to listen, encourage, guide and protect you.  I’ve sat in silence and brushed your tears away as you cried in my arms. You choose to be alone, but know this: as long as I live you never have to be.

Did you know that the Inuits of northern Canada have forty-seven words meaning “this sucks?” According to Dr. Trisha Dean “language, like other social constructs, is environmentally influenced. The vocabulary of the Inuits reflects generations of living on frigid, barren glaciers.” Tingenek: this sucks. Massalerauvok: long ago, my son, it did not suck, but that’s not really true at this time. Mauja: for many moons, it has sucked. Now is no different. Akkilokipok: it is as if the great-snow tiger of suckiness has raped my sister.

To say “this akkilokipok” feels like grand understatement; the adjective adequate to describe both this god-forsaken storm and the morass our relationship has become does not exist in English or Intuit.

I choose to walk away. Clinging to anything after it’s stop nourishing you is unhealthy, and this relationship stopped feeding my soul long, long ago. There is a famine in my heart, caused by your decision to starve me of a love you created.

Tears and snowflakes, falling until dawn.

Jackie Summers is the author of F*cking in Brooklyn, a hilarious, heartbreaking journey of self-discovery; authentic tales soul & flesh in the County of Kings

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