Oh yes, poor Zinnie, home alone. Dropped off by James on his way to his miserable little family.
His wife left him when his girlfriend claimed to be pregnant. As soon as wifey left, girlfriend moved herself in... then 'lost' the baby he never was sure she was really having.
Now he was stuck with a harpy who made his life miserable and often reflects on
the 'angel' he lost.
Zinnie hummed her tune as she grabbed one of her personal 'TV dinners' from the freezer
Every Sunday, while the washing machine chugged, she prepared her little meals.
Silly things she couldn't serve to a stranger, as they were a bit clumsy and of her
While the microwave warmed her dinner, she undressed, tossing her clothes on the second twin bed. The beds had been on sale; no one had wanted them, and the store was correct in thinking the give away price would get them out of the showroom.
Naked, she padded into the bathroom, a quick 'wash the day away' shower, then into her pajamas to eat her dinner while watching the News. At the first commercial she washed her plates, put them away, took a cup of coffee, lit a cigarette.
The Evening Advances
Elliot, one of her periphery friends, rang her. He'd stop by to collect that radio he'd promised to fix, advising he'd be there in five minutes.
Zinnie carefully stubbed out her cigarette, pulled on jeans, a tee shirt, jacket and slipped on sneakers.
Elliot was the 'timely' one. He did arrive in five minutes. He couldn't stay but a moment as his kids were in the car.
She watched him drive out then rang up Sharon because she'd promised.
Zinnie listened to Sharon complain about her brother and her son. Sharon's husband had died ten years ago and she had almost married Frank, but he reconciled with his ex-wife because of their daughter who was having a 'difficult time' adjusting.
Zinnie didn't need to listen, Sharon needed to talk.
Zinnie took her cold coffee, poured an ounce of hot into it, relit her cigarette and relaxed on the veranda, Sharon's voice no more than a hoarse cricket.
When the call ended Zinnie looked into space imagining young beautiful men; imagining herself young and beautiful. It was only the cold night breeze which destroyed the fantasy and chased her back inside.
She turned on the television for company, having lost a few minutes of a cop show. She had to raise the volume as the woman next door was having another dramatic episode with her boyfriend.
Sometimes Zinnie listened to the trite remarks, knowing what the boyfriend would say and how the woman would respond. Zinnie nicknamed them Cheat and Whine.
If she'd been asked, the reason Cheat stayed with Whine was the address. This block was so convenient, so perfect, that were this an episode in a cop show, Cheat would kill Whine and capture the flat.
Zinnie was prepared for Mr and Mrs Miserable, from the next flat over, to come out and add to the noise, telling Cheat to go or Whine to shut up and then there would be a four way shout until the police were called.
Having already seen the 'episode' of Cheat and Whine vs Mr. & Mrs. Miserable plus the Police show, she pulled on a thick sweater, her jacket, a hat, and went out into the dark yard, found the swing, and sat in the starry night.
There was no discord in her life. No arguments, no anger, no problems she couldn't solve.
She knew those in her ambit felt 'sorry' for her. After all, Zinnie was 'alone' and they had 'families'. They had wives and girlfriends, husbands and boyfriends, ex-wives and ex-husbands, disturbed children and obligations, responsibilities and arguments.
When it came to self, they didn't have one.
There was a time when Zinnie had family and connections and what she wanted was always second or third choice for those who 'came first'.
Sure, there were a lot of 'pluses' in being part of a family, or even a couple. There were also a lot of minuses.
Unless the pluses so out balanced the minues, it was better to be alone. Better to hear your own thoughts, dream your own deams, write your own agenda.
Being a Singleton and Loving it
She didn't have to go to yoga or meditation classes, she did that every day. She didn't have to worry about her blood pressure. Every choice she made was based on what she wanted and when she wanted it.
She thought of her once best friend, Myra. Her husband of forty years died. Myra fell into a depression so deep, and Zinnie had tried so hard to pull her out. But Myra was so used to having Jerry around. So used to being with him, that she couldn't survive.
She sold the house she had worked so hard to buy and moved in with her son. The daughter in law made her life hell, so she moved into a studio. Zinnie visited as often as she could, but Myra dwelled in such depression she was soon hospitalised. Soon died.
Myra, dead. Dead because Jerry was dead.
Every time Zinnie looked on her life, her broken marriage, her ended affairs, she didn't feel regret. Not when she thought of Myra, dead these past twelve years.
That could have been her. Entwining her life with another so tightly she could not survive as a singleton.