wife and I have been married for over thirty years. During that
time we have rarely been apart overnight. There have been some
business trips here and there, but nothing of a long duration.
Well, I do remember one time when I was in the Air Force that
I was away from home for three weeks. That separation almost killed
us. The truth is we don't like being separated, at least I know
my wife is in Florida, without me. She has gone to visit
her parents, and my schedule was such that I couldn't go with
her. She left on Sunday morning, and she will be back on Wednesday.
As I write this, it is Tuesday - and I am miserable. The house
just does not seem the same with her gone. It is too quiet, too
empty, too spooky.
is in instances like this I wish we had a pet. When we had a cat,
it kept me company, good company, on those few occasions
when Terry had to be away overnight. A cat is the perfect pet
because it goes its own way and does its own thing, but checks
in from time to time. But now we don't have a pet, and you can
hear a pin drop in this house.
wife is a little over five feet tall and doesn't weigh much at
all, but still I feel safer when she is in the house with me.
Last night I heard creaks and groans from every room in this place.
I could have sworn I heard someone coming up the stairs. When
it got quiet again, I went downstairs and re-checked the alarm
system. Then I went back upstairs, closing and locking the door
at the top of the stairs, as well as the doors to our bedroom.
afternoon I made my first run to the grocery store to stock up
on all the comfort foods I could find. I brought home tomato juice,
cheese tidbits, fudge ripple cookies, potato chips and dip, and
diet cokes. I plopped down in front of my TV and watched every
show I had Tivoed this season, but had not been able to watch.
That included three hours of "Six Degrees" and three
hours of "Brothers and Sisters." Monday night I watched
four hours of "Nip/Tuck."
have tried to get caught up on my reading, but I just can't concentrate.
I find myself reading the same page over and over. Writing is
even worse. I start a paragraph and when I read it, it doesn't
even make any sense. I have started a new book, so I need to get
my mind in gear.
truth is, to quote a song, "I've Grown Accustomed To Her
Face." She truly does make my day begin. I know there are
people who like separations in their marriage, and there are other
couples who have to endure long periods of time apart because
of their jobs. I just don't know how they do it. I like being
married. I like being a couple. And when we are apart, I am a
morning she will leave St. Petersburg and head for home. We will
talk constantly while she is on the road (thank God for cell phones!),
and I will be with her every mile of the way. When she gets back
I will put away the "fatty" foods. I will begin to read
and write again. Life will return to normal, and I will be a happy
between now and then I am living in Lonesome Town, and I don't
like it - not one bit.
K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia.
He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as
the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews
run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short
stories have been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.
He also keeps active appearing as an after dinner speaker for
has lived an exceptionally interesting life and portions of it
are contained in his first book Journey of a Gentle Southern
Man. The journey continued in Chances and Choices.
first two books, Journey of a Gentle Southern Man
and Chances and Choices, were reprinted and published
by Mercer University Press in July 2004. His third book Halfway
Home was published by Mercer University Press in October
fourth book, released in 2006, is The Bookbinder.
his website, or email
Jackie K. Cooper