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"In a store, Merv" she said. "That's where you get stain remover, you awkward dolt. But by the time you get back, my carpet will be ruined." Wanda tilted her head to the side and began crying, if you could call it that. Her sobs sounded more like the grinding of an engine trying to turn over and failing. Her thin, old lips, sloppily painted pink, stretched wide and formed the shape of the infinity symbol. The effect was horrifying.
The effect was lost on Mervin. At 98 years old, many effects were lost on him. If he had realized that he had dropped his colostomy bag, he would have thought he hadn't meant to drop it; but then he hadn't meant to do a lot of things that he had done wrong or badly, at least according to Wanda. But anyway, his bag had dropped and separated from the rubber tubing which snaked from his side. The fecal and urinal contents of the bag spilled out onto the freshly laid shag carpeting and, to add insult to injury, Mervin was in the middle of urinating anew and flaccid drip-drops splashed onto the spreading bog of excrement.
Wanda had fantasized about having a shag installed ever since her retirement 27 years before, but their meagre pension hadn't allowed it. Mervin, when he was in his faculties, objected to the idea, anyway, and so they went throught the twilight years shagless. But Wanda secretly scrimped and saved and plotted. And the year before, Marvin had lost his mind and his personality. It was Wanda's time!
But now, having gone from a deep feeling of pride and victory at having the shag installed to seeing her aged, alzheimer-ridden husband dump his stinky issue all over the shag, her heart stopped beating and she collapsed falling on the bag and squeezing the last remains of Mervin's shit and piss out onto her precious shag.
Mervin, oblivious as he had been for a time, shuffled towards the t.v. He tripped over Wanda's dead body, fell and broke his hip. He lay writhing for a time before he too expired.
Thus ended 78 years of marriage.
Date Written: January 25, 2005
Author: John Slocum