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Mark M Lichterman

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Books by Mark M Lichterman
A 3 Day Lifetime Pt 9
By Mark M Lichterman
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010
Last edited: Wednesday, June 02, 2010
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.
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“Honey, ‘some way’ means ‘some day’ and what are we talking about here? Ten years? Twelve years? Till I’m eighty, eighty-five? I don’t have that many ‘somedays’ left.”

Prologue: Two months ago, when “”, our authors web site began looking for the three most popular, most widely followed commercially unpublished poets, Barbara’s name came up and the three were invited to a poetry competition in Chicago. 

Poetry with permission of Elizabeth J. Russo


A Three Day Lifetime:  Part Nine

 Sunday, June 20, 2009

 Day Three: Grasping At Straws


7:15 a.m. 


Having the same waitress they’d had the morning before...


“Orange juice,” Barbara said, “Eggs over easy, sausage and whole wheat toast.”


“Yes, Ma’am..."


The older man, and the woman sitting closely together, hand in hand, possibly catching the somber mood, “And you...” the waitress said, attempting to lighten the atmosphere a bit: “Eggs over medium, not hard or runny,”


“That’s very good!” I said.


“And,” the waitress added, “sausage, hash-browns, crispy, a toasted bagel and coffee.”


“I’m impressed.”


Smiling, ”Yes, Sir. Be right back with the juice and coffee.”


 Gazing out the window, “Life will never be the same for me, Mitchie.”


 “I know, honey,” kissing her hand, then opening it and holding it onto my cheek, “for me, too.”


“I feel so helpless!” She said, looking at me, “I just wish there was something we could do.”


“I love you, Barb.” Our eyes holding, “I think you are an absolutely beautiful woman and a wonderful writer.” Thinking, trying to form my words, “Barbara, the words you write are as music. You speak from your heart in a way that people...” chuckling,  “that even I  understand and your words are... well, to me, as music.”


Waiting as the waitress put a glass of juice in front of Barbara and a cup of coffee before me.


 “Barb, I’m so confused myself now. I don’t know if I ever really loved my wife and now I’m not too sure about Helen. And, really, I think you’re the woman I’ve always looked for. I love you! I love your mind and,” forcing a thin smile, “I love your body, too...”


Ashamed of her weight, “Yeah, sure, you’re a ‘chubby chaser’.” Barbara blushed.


Bringing the cup to my lips, finding it too hot, blowing into the cup, I took a small sip of coffee, “Call me what you want,” forcing a thin smile, “but you know I do, I do love your body!”


Thinking a moment, taking another sip of coffee, “And if you didn’t have your mother and sister to care for, if our ages were only... say, ten years apart, I’d say to you, ‘Barbara, if you want to leave your husband, if you want to move to California, if, when we can, if you want to marry me, I’d like nothing better than to spend the rest of my life with you.’”


Possibly a “female thing;” when beyond all odds or any logical answer to a pressing or life-changing subject, forging forward; forging forward even knowing any argument is and will be futile, however, feeling a need to fight for what she so desperately wanted, for what she so desperately needed, “Mitchie, why, then? Why can’t we...” hesitating, thinking, “Why can’t we do something?”


“What? Do what? You willing to leave your mother and sister now?”


“No!” Said sadly, though emphatically, “of course not, I could never do that!”


“I know you couldn’t, and I’d never expect you to or want you to! And also... Let me ask, how old is your mother?”


“Seventy-nine.” Barbara answered.


“Your mother is only five years older than me and you, you’re twenty-four years younger than me so in ten years you’ll be sixty and I’ll be eighty-four. You’re taking care of your mother and your sister now and no-body takes care of you and, damn it,” I said angrily, “you deserve a life, too! I’m an old man now and you’re just entering your prime.”




“No, let me talk! You’re the smartest, most creative, most passionate woman I’ve ever known and I don’t want to kill this in you, and if we’re together I will. I wouldn’t want to and I wouldn’t do it on purpose, but I don’t know what the future holds for me, health-wise, and I do not want to be a burden to you.”


Grasping,  “But I’m willing...”


“Willing to what?” I asked, “Wait till your mother dies and your sister is institutionalized?”  


Looking downward, having no answer, sighing, she shook her head from side to side.


 “No, baby, I can’t!” I said with finality. “This weekend together is like a dream... It is a dream and I’ve loved being with you and making love to you... Making love with you! But the only way ‘things’ worked as they did is because I’ve taken medication, quite a bit of medication to get that ‘thing’ working and, as I get older, that may stop, too, then you’ll be comparatively young and you’ll be stuck with an impotent old man and you deserve better than that! And I couldn’t live with that! And I simply won’t let you do it!”


Turning the sweating glass of juice onto the Formica table, making small, overlapping circles, “So,” she said angrily, “we’re supposed to live the rest of our lives knowing you love me and I love you and knowing that, maybe, some way, we could have been together?”


“Honey, ‘some way’ means ‘some day’ and what are we talking about here? Ten years? Twelve years? Till I’m eighty, eighty-five? I don’t have that many ‘somedays’ left.”


Stopping, we waited until the waitress set the plates before us.


Realizing, admitting, “I know there’s no way, Mitchell.” Barbara said sadly, then, turning her gaze from me, repeated, “I know there is no way.” As thought to finalize her words, she sawed a sausage in half with the edge of her fork.


 8:32 a.m.


“Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,” the moderator said, “we have seven remaining poets that have not yet read their writing. Then, when finished, the panel,” motioning to the two and tapping himself on the chest, “will confer and announce the winner.”




©May 28, 2010 / Mark M Lichterman




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Reader Reviews for "A 3 Day Lifetime Pt 9"

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Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 5/31/2010
Very nice story, Mark...sad that their love can never be.

Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 5/29/2010
A woman scorned saws her sausage. Beware!

Reviewed by Georg Mateos 5/29/2010
When driving on life's personal relationships, hitting on “female thing” with one of your front wheels, like an horrible pot hole that will mess your axle and throw you out of your celestial azimuth, will teach you that there is not just sitting on your ass and drive, not when you have a back seat drive up your neck!


Reviewed by Chessly Nesci 5/28/2010
Why can't it work? I don't like sad endings and I want them together. I am sure her poems were a winner! Amazing poetry and love story! My hanky is dripping!! Your friend, ~Chessly

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