Please Speak Well of Me When I’m Gone, a 397 word short story

illustration please speak well of me when i'm gone

Please Speak Well of Me When I’m Gone, a 397 word short story

October 11, 2012

5:00 a.m.

I had the strangest dream, where I was back together with K!!! We were together in this hotel room, packing our stuff, which was a lot, and getting ready to ride on a plane somewhere (what else does he do these days, but ride on planes!). It was as though we were back together, after all these years, something had happened; our subsequent, real-life remarriages were never mentioned. Clearly, we knew it was awkward that we hadn’t been together in so long — but there it was, we were going to try it. We didn’t have sex in the dream, although it was clear both of us were sort of thinking about the concept. But we weren’t anywhere near ready for that! And when I awoke, I started thinking about how sometimes I get confused about my life, about the sharp turns, the complete disconnections from my entire past life, etc., and how sometimes I don’t recognize the current terrain.

And why have I been thinking so much about K. these days, like that song by the Weepies, “Speak Well of Me When I’m Gone?” The one that has made me cry so many times? “I’ve been away, a year and a day….” That’s true of so many people in my life, isn’t it? Only they’ve been gone far longer than that: some have been gone for 35 years. How young, and blind, and ignorant, and how many horrendous mistakes it’s possible to make, etc.

“Looking back now, I only wish I had been kinder.” It’s the truth — some part of me has never stopped loving K. “And when I’m gone, please speak well of me.” Some part of me wishes we had worked out, because he was the first truly committed relationship I had, the first husband, the father to my first child, so many firsts. I met him when I was 22. He was 27.

Wouldn’t it have been sweet, had it worked out? Almost like high school sweethearts. Young — I was so young, so inexperienced. God! And I would apologize to him on my knees, if it would do any good. He wouldn’t, I don’t think, be able to hear me. The way I would want it to be heard. Still, I could try, couldn’t I?


Filed under apologia, apology, divorce, justice, karma, kindness, love, marriage, mea culpa, men, mysterious, personal responsibility, regret, relationships, short stories, women

4 responses to “Please Speak Well of Me When I’m Gone, a 397 word short story

  1. K. Yes, so K. The first? 35 years ago. I relate to those days, more like 36 or 7 for me, but that was an ending not a beginning. I seem to cut everything off with the move in 1970 from New York to Florida. From my mom’s world to my father’s. What happened to 16. I was 16 in New York and 17 when I woke up in Florida. Couldn’t wear hair over my ears. My long sideburns were an issue. A friend in New York had said to me they were “cute.” What did he mean by that. I knew he wasn’t gay.


  2. Huh. Did I lose my comment? They made me log in to my WordPress account. I missed once and got the next log in. Came back here and didn’t see my post.


  3. Well it was just about 36 years ago being an ending for me but a beginning for you. I had also mentioned my long sideburns and hair over my ears that were an issue when I moved from New York to Florida. A fellow in New York had said they were cute. He wasn’t gay but a popular fellow. There is a great divide in my mind between New York and Florida, between my 16th year and my 17th, almost as if I had gotten married. No. I had lost my virginity in Florida but I never married. Big thing, isn’t it, that first sexual experience with another. It even has a name – virginity.


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