Only one of your neighbors on the community board is still fighting you. Go see him today.
“I just want a month,” you tell him. “A single thirty days of red bulbs.”
“Too dangerous,” he murmurs. He didn’t even turn the TV off. You had to grab the remote and mute it.
“She loved red bulbs,” you say. “Her rose garden. Everyone marveled at it. She gave so much to this block, asking for nothing in return. Let me give something back to her. Let me turn the entire neighborhood rose-red for her.”
“What’s so funny?” you ask.
“I was you once,” he says. “When my wife died I wanted to scratch her name into the sky. I wanted to do what she ‘would have wanted.’ Soon you’ll accept that she wants nothing anymore. That’s the good part of death. The wanting stops.”
You both sit in silence.
“Unfortunately,” he adds. “You have to accept that she doesn’t even want you anymore.”
He cries in his chair, staring at a court show. You drop the photos on the table.
“I know you had your neighbors’ tree branches cut down,” you tell him. “It wasn’t the storm. You used the storm as your excuse and cut down the branches reaching into your yard while the Canters were away.”
He stares at the pile of photos without reaching for them.
“Approve the red bulbs at tonight’s block meeting,” you tell him. “Vote yes on turning the neighborhood red in honor of my late wife’s rose garden. Let me mourn my wife to the fullest of my ability. Or so help me God the photos of you shouting up at your tree surgeon will be on every folding chair at that meeting.”
You leave the photos there for him to peruse. Tonight, you can be sure you’ll get the votes necessary to give a proper goodbye to your sweet, departed bride.
Happy The Bulbs In The Streetlamps Day!