Monday, March 05, 2007

On Sunday, my brother-in-law returned home. He had taken a week off of his construction business which was both unusual and a measure of how important this had been to him. My sister decided to return home the following day. Maria needed to return to Ft. Leonard Wood, where they were beginning to think she was going AWOL. This was a serious issue which arose because we had misunderstood the length and nature of the leave she had been given. I do not remember all of the ins and outs now, but she did return during the week in time to avoid being thrown into jail. She had to decide whether to stay in the Army or take an entry level separation, and her best course of action was by no means obvious to her or anyone else. Matthew returned to school on Monday: since it was Thanksgiving week, it would only be for three days.

Maybe not so oddly, I don't remember what either Richard or I did for those three days. I do remember having to go the grocery store and dreading it. I really did not want to run into anyone who had not heard and have to break this news in the aisles of GiantFood. I did not want anyone to see my name on the bonuscard and pause while trying to remember where they'd heard it recently--a name like Doerflinger tends to stand out. I did not feel like a real person in some ways, I felt attenuated, stretched so thin I might be nearly invisible. But no one noticed any of this. The only clerk who has ever said anything to me there went to school with Anna and I think she knew Thomas slightly. She may even have been at the funeral. For the rest, everyone behaved as if nothing had happened, which I guess for them was true.


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