Thursday, June 08, 2006

Short Fiction: "Letter to Shirley Potter, September 1998"


I heard about your husband. I'm real sorry. Ed was a good guy, and we're all gonna miss him a lot. Sorry couldn't make it to the funeral, but they got me up here in Marquette to work on my ticker.

First day of bear season, too. That's gotta be rough. Where were they at? Tahquamenon? Sturgeon River Gorge? I hear the hunting up there's gonna be good this season. Too bad something like this had to happen. Ed was still a young guy too-- I mean, he'd only just turned 55 hadn't he? I know you always used to ride his ass (pardon my Finglish?) about his health, and for what it's worth, I know he listened. I swear to ya, Shirl, the man turned 50 and all of a sudden he was too good for my wife's turkey stew, haha. Always up at the ass-crack of dawn for a run--even at bear camp--couldn't even stop by the Country Kitchen without him naggin' me about smoking, or about the gravy on my biscuits. "Marty, I'm tellin' ya, that shit's gonna kill you one day." Funny how life works out.

Any way, Shirl, for what it's worth, both you and your husband are in my prayers, and take it from me, I know that wherever Ed is now, I know he's in a better place. God bless you both.

Anyway, how are you doing? How are the kids? Heard Mindy's getting married next fall--anyone I know? Last I talked to Ed, he told me Tim's still working down in Charlevoix. Hear there's a great market for carpentry down there these days, what with all the summer people and all. Hell, I should have gotten into that racket--woulda beaten the hell outa 30 years in the mine. Oh well, what have I got to complain about, hey? I got a good pension, and they're payin' for my heart surgery. Good thing too. VA's useless for this sorta thing. Shoulda got hit by shrapnel my first tour. Maybe they'd give a damn about me now. Oh well. What the Lord wills and all, I guess.

Things are pretty good on my end--I've been up here at Marquette General the last week. Some Indian guy's takin' care of me. Not like Soo Tribe, I mean like some guy with an accent whose name I can't pronounce. Where'd all the American doctors go, I wonder. Huh well. Guess we'll never know.

Anyway, the doc said I have a "dissecting aortic anurysm (sp?)." Hurt like hell, and the doc told me that means that I had like a bubble in the wall of one of my blood vessels. Honestly, I didn't really get much of it, between the accent and all the medical talk, but he told me I'd need to have my chest cracked open. So that's what they did a coupla days ago. Medicine these days, I tell you. Just popped me open and looked under the hood like my damned Chevy truck. Apparently they just cut away a part of my tissue and sewed it up with a patch of fiber. Doc called it a graft--I always thought that was just when they took skin from your butt cheek or whatnot when you got burned real bad. Saw that happen to a coupla guys, over the years. Remember Jimmy Shigwadja? Guy from Ishpeming? Guy's got a bald patch on his calf from where his sister lit his pantleg on fire as a kid. Haha.

Anyway, I got these stitches now, running up and down my chest. Can't see 'em, though--they got gauze over the whole thing. Still hurts to breathe. Hard to believe they just cracked me open and fixed me up like that. Reminds me of field-dressing a deer, only in this case I'm not summer-sausage now.

Funny story, the docs told me that my heart actually stopped on the operating table. Started bleeding during surgery, apparently. They said I was clinically dead for a full minute. Brought me back with a machine. You know, they always say that when you die, you see a white light if you go through you see all your loved ones waiting for you on the other side. Sad to say, I don't remember a damn thing like that. Guess they knocked me out too good.

Anyway, I'm doing good here, but all this writing's making me a little tired. Sorry about the stationery, it's what the nurse gave me. The docs say I should be out in about a week, but they want me to take it easy. Hell with that, I got a deer blind I still gotta set up before Opening Day. I might have missed my bear, but damned if I'm gonna miss out on my chance to get a good buck. I should be back in Negaunee in about a week, and who knows? Maybe if you wanted, I could swing by Gwinn. It'd be nice to see you again, maybe spend a little time with you. I know we haven't been able too much these last few years. Anyway, love ya Shirl. God bless.


Marty Ilmonen

P.S. Sorry again about Ed.


Blogger antiprincess said...

am I the only one who picks up on the subtle sexual tension?

3:09 PM  
Blogger Christina_the_wench said...

Wow, Milo. Good writing. Love the style. =) You're only 23?!?
Kinda' ironic that I just made a cardiologist appointment this morning. (insert Twilight Zone music here) Irregular EKG reading. Doc ain't worried so neither am I.

Be safe!

3:39 PM  
Blogger kim said...

nice stuff ya got here and yeah what christina said ...*digs thru the archives* thanks for stopping by my site ... take care

3:59 PM  
Blogger HappyGirl said...

Thanks Man! Great Blog By The Way!

4:52 PM  
Anonymous kesuka said...

You are writting as well as ever, (remember I was there when you were scard to let anyone else hear), I told I would come take a look around.

12:46 AM  
Blogger MyRiseAbove said...

Just returning the favor and visiting your blog. What you commented was cute. Thanks. You sound much more mature then your age.

3:44 AM  

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