Lasts . . . and Lasts

The following is another writing exercise from my class with writer Abigail Thomas. Do you have any guesses as to the assignment?

“Anyone want to place bets on how long my Stanley Steamed, freshly cleaned carpets will last?

The last of the birthday ice cream cake for Jerrica, 27, and Natalie, 25. Our last teenager ate the last of it. His hunger lasts so he can’t control his snacking, he claims.

Yesterday, my husband’s ten-year-old American bulldog Zoey took her last breath in his arms. He didn’t know he’d have to hold her while the old vet administered medicine, but he did know he’d have to bury her. It came on suddenly, her time to go, but his grief will last.

Jackson and Zoey
Jackson and Zoey

The last hot dog buns had mold on them. Greenish-blue. Turquoise-gray? Ish? In the trash.

The last flight I took was to New York City last May, just after Layla was born, and who really cares?

The last time I got my nails done, almost a month ago, just might have been it forever. I don’t know if I want to spend the money or time on them any longer. But they’re so pretty.

The last thing my daughter needed was an extra, full-grown, large dog in addition to her two Aussies and one-year-old baby in that teeny house they can all barely fit.

The last thing on my mind this week has been writing. But it’s the last week of our class.

WARNING: I have just one last nerve to get on. Whoops. There it went. Cause: teenager.

The last time I exercised was so very long ago. Last bike ride? Last walk? Last swim? Ugh. I better get moving or last rites, right?

The last photo that Natalie sent me of baby Judson, he looked so good that I started to cry. In the middle of the last cashier line at Kroger. He’s hopefully seen the last of the head gear and breathing tubes, and he almost weighs five pounds. At long, long last, we can see his beautiful, tiny face, and I’m so looking forward to the day I can just sit and hold him while staring at the last miracle in our family.

Little Judson and the photo that made me cry in Kroger.

I think Layla and I will have some mint chocolate chip ice cream for our snack today, once she wakes up from her nap. There is nothing last about it or her, and I love when she grandma-sits.

Peaches, THE best grandma-sitter ever.

The last thing I heard the young man on the news say after sharing his story of being attacked by a shark in North Carolina was that he “would” be going back in the water again. It was the last thing I expected him to say! The shark tried to take off his foot, pulling him down under the water. That would be the last of the ocean for me. In fact, I would never get into any water ever again unless it was been chlorinated and inside a pool.

The last crumbles of salt and vinegar chips at the bottom of the bag are so puckeringly sour to eat that I don’t mind if the dregs get tossed.

Layla fed the last of her slobbery orange Cheeto to Bruno, our bull breed mix, who waits for Zoey to return. From where, he doesn’t know. But then again maybe he does: He went immediately to her grave last night when let outside. It was so strange.

Foster and kids
Zoey, top left, Foster (Jerr’s Aussie), bottom left, Bruno, bottom right, and Izzy, top right.

Jackson talked about a puppy last evening, not even 12 hours after Zoey’s last breath. I wonder how long her void will last before he decides to fill it. I think it’s the last thing we need around here—puppies are as difficult as babies, and we have plenty of those right now. Figuratively speaking, I suppose, since they don’t live with us.

Swollen feet, a creaky knee, and an achy back.  My body’s last hurrah? No way. Early arthritis? Man, if so, it’s going to last forever. I hope.”

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