FIRST LINES of Young Widower: A Memoir

Read first lines from:
Young Widower: A Memoir
by John W. Evans

How Lives Go On

The year after my wife died, I compulsively watched television. I needed distraction, to be entertained. What I could not stream online or order through the main I sought out at the local video store. I was living in a suburb of Indianapolis, about a mile from a strip mall where I could rent, in a pinch, midseason discs of The Wire, The Office, Friday Night Lights. I got to know the clerks by name, then their shifts, finally their tastes. Once, I tried to make a formal complaint against the corporate headquarters regarding the suspicious and perpetual absence of the fourth-season finale of Battlestar Galactica. It seemed unjust that the universe would conspire to deny my knowledge of its fictional origins. I worked up a good head of steam before leaving, distraught. I went back a few days later, during a different shift.

On my walks to the store, I listened to my wife’s favorite songs. She was a huge country fan, especially mid-‘90s radio country: Garth Brooks, the Judds, Randy Travis. As a child she had lived in rural, then exurban Illinois, attended college in central Minnesota. I didn’t particularly like the music, but I enjoyed that it reminded me of her and also how the emotional range of the music never ran too far from the middle. The walks, however long, seemed to go more quickly.
My wife’s death was violent and sensational. She was killed by a wild bear, while we were hiking in the Carpathian Mountains outside of Bucharest, where we had lived and worked for the last year of her life. She was thirty years old.

© 2014 by John W. Evans

Read sample pages from Young Widower: A Memoir on Amazon.

Read The Bear, by John W. Evans in Slate.

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