by Josh Daunter
“Life is a patchwork of clichés,” he said when we met, when we were young. His smile might have lit up the room, I didn’t notice; I was looking at his eyes. And I didn’t believe him.
“Life is a patchwork of clichés,” he said when we were married. He looked so handsome; I looked so nervous. We were both so young. It was the happiest day of my life; he freely admitted that it was the happiest day of his. “Like all husbands have always felt and will always feel.”
“Life is a patchwork of clichés,” he said when we had our two children, and he said it again when I chose to call them Mary and John. He smiled, but I railed against him. I cried and I begged and I fought, “like every married couple always has and always will,” he said. I didn’t want him to make my Mary and my John feel unimportant; I told him that I thought they were special beyond anything I could express. “Like every mother has always thought, and will always think,” he said. We were still young then.
Mary and John grew up and left home. We weren’t quite so young, but we were happy. He would smile, and say “Life is a patchwork of clichés” when I made him an afternoon cup of tea, or suggested we go to Cornwall for a holiday.
* * *
We are old now. We have lived together nearly sixty years. He must have heard the thud from the living room; he came as quickly as he could and saw me lying on the floor.
“No, please God, no!” he screamed, feeling for my pulse.
“No, please God, no,” I murmured, wishing there were new words for this entirely new experience.
“Life is a patchwork of clichés,” he said when we were young.
Well, the quilt is finished now. Let me sleep.
Josh Daunter is in his late twenties (31) and currently does a dull job in a beautiful place.