buried Mr. Riccardi today. Afterwards, Mrs. Riccardi hauled out the
barbecue and lit a fire. She tossed in Mr. Riccardi's collection of
empty cereal boxes.
you do that?" asked a familiar voice.
Riccardi looked over her shoulder. The voice from the barbecue grew
do you think you're doing?"
Riccardi peered into the hottest part of the coals.
up. You're dead," she said.
can I be talking to you if I'm dead?"
you're not all the way dead yet. You always were a late bloomer."
life was hard. Why can't I die a normal death?"
whining, thinking about yourself as usual. What about ME? I'm eighty-four
and need a rest."
Riccardi threw Mr. Riccardi's collection of newspaper clippings onto
That feels funny."
dead. You can't feel anything."
Riccardi lit a cigarette. She jabbed the coals. The barbecue shuddered.
lightheaded," said Mr. Riccardi.
tossed more things into the barbecue. It shook violently. A wheel popped
off. With a giant puff of smoke, it emptied.
there?" she asked.
leaned back and took a long drag, smiling at the cloudless sky.