The plane lands in Denver after what feels like 24 hours in the sky and I know that Kasey is dead, no one has explained why and I don’t dare ask. All I know is that I have to get into a rental car and in order to do so I”ll need to talk to people. Nicely. Impossible as it sounds I find my way to Hertz.
It’s a 20 minute shuttle from airport to car rental and I’m assaulted by the air conditioning and scent of unwashed travelers. The line is long and strange. Taking a moment, I pause and examine the line, Secret Service men and Nuns.
Fucktastic. Who could make this up?
At the front of the line of two dozen or so is the largest man I’ve seen in days, he’s a wall of a human in an off the rack suit with a curlicue of clear plastic feeding information into his ear. The Democrats are in town. With red and watery eyes I decide that he’s my target.
“Um, excuse me.” I say, looking up at him as I gently touch his massive right arm, “I really don’t think I can explain to you why, just right now, but I need to cut this line.”
Clearly confused, the Wall Of Secret Service looked down at me slowly and as his lips began to form words I continued, “Honestly, I’m about to cry so much snot may come out of my nose and I’m pretty sure you don’t want a middle aged housewife sobbing here in front of you.”
He may or may not have actually spoken, but at that moment he waved me forward in the most deferential of all gestures. I may have thanked him, I hope I did, but suspect I forgot.
After hopping into my Toyota I jumped onto I 25 taking the familiar route to The Black Forest. The day was beautiful, the Rockies on my right and the great plains to my left with forest for as far as the eye could see. Furious, I wished the weather would be as dreary as we all felt and within a mile of Kelly’s house there were storms. I needed the skies as sad as I.
As I finally pulled up to my destination the skies turned an angry black and erupted in hostile waves of rain and wind. How wonderful that Mother Nature was also pissed.
Kelly ran out to the car and we sobbed and held each other, I’m unsure whose body was capable of standing and it will never matter. We stood in the cold angry rain, two women, two mothers, crying and rocking and wishing the nightmare would end. We knew it wouldn’t, and neither one of us was capable of standing alone.
The afternoon was chores, buying funeral clothes, fortifying ourselves with food and drink, and finally packing the family for a long sad trek to Iowa. We pored through twenty eight years of family photos and when we came to the pictures of Kasey with his dog, I lost it. Completely. How had the little boy with the dog for a best friend died?