One Hell of a Cough


I remember his cough.

His name was Bob. Every morning I wake up and think of him–before I sleep, he keeps me awake.

He was an odd guy–had no teeth. He used to swim in his underpants and make sharks out of sand when we all went to the beach.

At night, he’d cough like nothing else. But even when he did, he’d tell us stories. They were about a rabbit whose name I can’t remember.

Bob had fake teeth. So, when he told us stories, they’d stick to his lips in ways my teeth never have. It added punctuation to his stories–excitement to twists I never saw coming, detail to faces I could have never pictured otherwise.

At the end, Bob would go outside, he liked it outside.

I don’t know how old he was when he died. He had an oxygen tank then. He coughed a lot more. But, he still did love going outside.

“He just can’t quit,” I remember my mother telling me. “It’s sad,” she added.

I don’t know if he still told stories by then, I was too old. Now, I’m much older, and at night, outside, I think of Bob; wondering if one day I’ll get fake teeth that will stick to my lips when I tell stories.

33 thoughts on “One Hell of a Cough

    1. Thank you, a lot. I don’t really know where they all come from. My mind just sort of does this on it’s own and I have been trying to find ways to write down all the weird ideas for years. Getting better at it I think–hope.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I do not believe, that those elecrtonic ones helps…a freind of mine tried, now she smokes both of them….I think quitting completely is the only way….try….I stopped some days ago, and I hope that was it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. the picture is indeed very melancholy and lonely sad. And also the last passage, makes me goose bumps….Bob is “past” for you, altough you spent thinking so much on him? I didn´t really understand the “fake teeth that stick to the lips”. He was a bitchy storyteller, not honest, just told stories, how they seems to be perfect for him? But surely, the stories were bad, otherwise you would remember the name of the rabitt.
    Is ist meant like this?
    Well I can understand a lot, that you added punctuation to his stories, to twists them. I do this all the time, for seaching the truth of translation. May be, Bob was really an odd guy, who told stories in a way, nobody could understand, only himself. It is not the way I would like to end, so I´m glad that I already started with stop smoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I don’t remember the stories. I think you’re reading a bit too far into this one. I didn’t really intend too much by it. It’s mostly a feeling centered around a man and about how I remember him. It isn’t solid or hidden. It’s just kind of there. However it is that you interpret it is how it should be interpreted.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, hahaha…then we both can benefit….you are getting to know something about a readers thoughts, and I have to reflect about myself…: )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like this. You captured Bob’s oddness and isolation. But you also captured his generous spirit that came out as one of the only things he had to give: his stories. You don’t remember the stories -and neither do I- because they weren’t important. It was the telling that was important. I’ll never forget how rapt you children were while he spoke. I remember the rabbit’s name was Jason.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Gio. Yeah it’s kind of hard for me to remember. I just wanted to capture the feeling of bob rather than any solid events that I remember. The only other thing I remember is him taking his teeth out to clean after eating crispix….that will never fade.

      Liked by 1 person

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