My wife came into the kitchen after getting the mail, both hands held behind her back. “Which hand?” she asked. I picked her right hand, and she gave me an envelope with a check from my late aunt’s estate. I couldn’t have guessed wrong, because there was another one just like it in her other hand.
One of them is for my brother in Tucson. This is the guy with a free house who couldn’t make seventeen grand last six months. Well, that isn’t very much, is it? But the terms of our aunt’s trust are embarrassing. I’m supposed to hold onto his share and pay it out to him in five annual installments if he passes a yearly battery of drug tests! Oh sure. The man is sixty-two. Even from the grave, they meddle, but the grave is where they are.
No more hand-outs, either. That’s the last of the inheritances from that lot. We’re down to siblings and cousins now. I’m down to me. It’s weird, though. There was always someone older, or the possessions of someone older, to occupy a certain space, and now there isn’t. This is the part where I either die or paint my masterpiece, and I feel fine.