"I hope the Jews did kill Christ. I'd do it again. I'd fucking do it again-in a second." ~Sarah Silverman
There is a Gray Man that sits on the dark side of the moon and watches everyone as they sleep. He's probably watching someone you love right now. He sits and he watches and he collects all of our dreams so that we can barely remember them the next morning.
On a cold Sunday morning in January a good man took his own life. No reason was given. No note left. No explanation. He left the world without a sound but he worked, and payed his child support every week, and had never been in jail so I guess he was a good man.
We didn't know him well.
It was Lora and Jimmy Mann that found him that Sunday evening. They walked into his apartment and there he was hanging from a beam between the living room and the foyer, not six feet in front of them.
Lora later said that Jimmy Mann screamed like a girl then stumbled back into the hallway and tried to call 911 through his panic.
Jimmy Mann later said that Lora just stood there staring at the hanging man for the longest time.
As I said, we didn't know him well, so sadly it didn't seem to affect us much in the way of grieving. Lora said we had to go to the wake over my small objection.
"His family might want to ask me questions," she said.
"About...how he looked hanging there?" Was my dumb ass reply. We didn't know him well.
Lora answered with a stone blank expression, staring almost right through me. I should have seen it then I guess. I should have known there was something wrong with her.
The morning after I woke to the alarm and after untangling Emily's legs from mine noticed that Lora wasn't in bed with us. I went downstairs and she was already up, having coffee and reading the newspaper.
"Mornin'," I say. "You okay?"
"Woke up with a headache," she said.
"Bad dreams?" I asked.
"Can't remember," she said sipping her coffee.
"Damn that Gray Man," I joked.
"I hate that bastard," she said, serious as a heart attack.
By the time I made my coffee and sat down Lora was already getting her coat on and ready to head across the street to the community center. She asked me to hit the community store to grab some sugar before work and after a quick kiss, and a kiss for Emily on the way, she was out the door.
Emily sat and had her hot coco then we dressed and I walked with her to the store since she works there. It's only around the corner but it's been pretty cold out so we huddled together on the walk so close that I could hear Emily start to giggle under her scarf.
"Knock, knock." She says.
"Who's there?" I ask, hoping it's one I've never heard before.
My eyes roll, "Banana who?"
"Knock, knock," she says again.
"Who's there?" I ask, already knowing the answer.
"Banana who?" I play along with the old joke because I love her so and want to make her happy.
"Knock, knock." She says again.
"Whos' there?" I reply, hoping her next word is "orange."
"Interrupting cow," comes the unexpected reply.
I turn and look at her with a bit of confusion on my face. "Interrupting cow wh..."
"MOOOOOOOOOOO!" The cow interrupts.
We both laugh.
"Got that from South Park last night," she says still laughing.
Emily is always such a joy to be around. She's always happy and ALWAYS has something nice to say to make a person feel better.
By the time I got the sugar and make it to the community center, Lora is already going full throddle. She's got the steam tables set up for breakfast and has already started cooking the food. She was like that all day. Busy, busy, busy.
That night she woke me up twice getting out of bed and the next morning she had beaten me downstairs again. I asked her if she needed to talk but Lora is strong, strong like an Amazon, and so very strong willed. She never, NEVER, likes showing any weakness to anyone. Don't get me wrong, Lora and I have cried together many times, but when she's going through something alone, she bottles herself up and doesn't like to share it.
Nothing breaks Lora down.
I remember it was a Thursday. Four days after. I had spent my lunch hour with Emily at the store. Emily always knows how to make a person feel better about themselves. By the time I got back to the community center I could hear Lora yelling. She was almost uncontrollable, yelling at Jacob while he stood there with a shocked look on his face.
"Lora?" I asked, as shocked as Jacob seemed.
She turned and with so much anger in her eyes said, "This isn't your fucking business so stay out of it, Sara!"
Our eyes locked and neither of us looked away. There was shock and confusion on my face I'm sure, and the anger on Lora's face slowly started to turn to calmness, then into this strange, lost look that I had never seen before. Lora turned away from me and walked into her office, slamming the door once inside.
"What happened," I asked Jacob, still pretty shocked.
He looked at me with the most innocent face he could muster and said, "I got the menu wrong."
I went to Lora's office, walked in without knocking and, like her, slammed the door behind me as a sign that I wanted answers! There she was on the floor sitting between two file cabinets crying as loud as I've ever heard her cry. She looked up at me and with tears streaming down her face asked me through her cries in a voice I barely recognized...
"Why can't I stop seeing it?"
It's the reason she hasn't been sleeping. The reason why she could barely stand to close her eyes. Because every time she did she saw him. She saw the hanging man right in front of her.
Not six feet away.
The Gray Man hasn't been doing his job after all. That bastard!
Lora has since been off work. Mostly she's stayed in bed or in the least in her pj's all the time. Emily works hard to cheer her up and my Lora is slowly starting to be herself again. She's sleeping at night and has asked about the happenings at the community center recently.
She even said the funniest thing to me yesterday. About how I was able to understand what she was going through. About how I, above everyone else, could relate.
She said, "I'm lucky my girlfriend has mental problems."
It made me smile. :)