Originally published in Vending Machine Press.
The day my husband died, April 20, 2010, BP oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico. I was told about the spill weeks later, sometime between the day I buried him and the day our first and only home foreclosed. This was also around the time I realized with shame that I had lied every time I told him I couldn’t live without him.
In the news, I read of desperate fisherman taking their own lives over the destruction, yet I somehow still wanted to live. Somehow I kept waking up in the mornings and I kept pumping overpriced gas into my Honda to get places I felt I needed to be. Where could I possibly need to be?
One day I walked into a cigar bar and sat next to a man who wore a form-fitted Red Sox t-shirt that accentuated his strong arms. His gray-blue hat made honey eyes mysterious in a way that made me want him in a way that made me feel guilt — and relief. Over a game of pool he let me win, he told me I have the prettiest eyes he’d ever seen and he said it in the thickest Cajun accent I had ever heard.
The next morning we watched the sun rise over the oil stained sand of Gulf Shores, Alabama. In the distance, a seagull plummeted into the wounded, black water. I wanted to stop the bird — to save it — but I knew it was hopeless.
He leaned in and kissed me.