Fertilizer Becomes Her
by Bob Dawson
Poised and confident, Dressed in Armani, she stood in the kitchen doorway looking at the filthy unwashed dishes in the sink. In the living room, now an ironic label, the old man was dead, surrounded by yellowed newspapers, empty beer cans, and assorted bits of decaying food products. As if to make the scene performance art, his unshaved and disheveled appearance complimented the surrounding framework. She had called 911.
She lifted her gaze to look out the kitchen window. The half fallen, once white curtain blocked the bottom branches of the ash tree from which the old man had time and again cut the switches used on the effeminate boy she had been. All that could be seen now was the vibrant spring growth budding from the upper branches, brilliant green, even through the coating of grime. The sight dispersed the miasma of despair that had begun to once again envelope her, as if the old man, even in death, could still control.
She felt a great sense of release. Long before he escaped to become she, the old man had ceased to be her father. He no longer had power over her.
As she emerged from the house to wait in the yard, she took one last look back at the filth that represented the old man’s life, and the detritus of her past. If anything, she felt grateful. “Some people,” she thought, thinking of the house and the old man, “would call it dirt. I call it fertilizer.”