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"Snot Nose Wingate Kid"

I suction out his nose.


"We would be millionaires if snot were a commodity."

Bob giggles.

"Freaking millionaires, I say! We could sell it by the suction bulb. 'Would you like that full or half-full.'"

He laughs.

"Snot nose Wingate kid," I say.

He laughs hard.


That's what neighbors used to call the Wingate boys--all five boys. Byron, the oldest is the one Bob thinks about most. Bob loved him and when Byron died around the age of 32, Bob found a grieving that would never let up. I don't mention his name often because Bob gets sad.


When he could talk, we would talk for hours across the table, across the counter, on the couch, in bed. We talked about everything. We loved each other's voices. I miss his. Sometimes though, in special moments, he can whisper, "Yes." Just a breath of a word. The one word he likes. He refuses to say no. Instead, he diverts his eyes away from the question. When he means "yes" he giggles it out. Or, when I am extra blessed, he whispers it.



I talk for both of us. I'm a literal chatterbox. I tell him stories, ask him questions and then answer them to the best of my ability. I sing songs--lots of songs. My favorite of late is Born to be Wild. I stand him up, say, "Come on, honey," and jam out, "Get your motor runnin'!" When the song gets to the reprise--born to be wild--I switch the world wild to mild in honor of Bob. He loves it and giggles.


And dance. Sometimes I dance like a ballerina. Sometimes like a baby. Sometimes like a rapper. I used to dance, from five-years-old until twenty-two. Ballet, jazz, tap, modern.


His nose gets pretty snotty after a full night of sleep.


I wipe his nose off. "We could make a killing on this stuff, honey, if there was a market for it."

We both giggle.

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3 Comments


Susan. So relatable. I admire your fortitude …. And not to mention your abilty to tell a story.

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So moving. Thanks for writing this.

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Jo szcz
Jo szcz
Feb 07

eeewww but :)

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