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Summary Of Benjamin Franklin's Life

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Muncy Claire never wished Franklin dead. But she often imagined what life would be like were he to not return home from a shift. What she would do. Where she would go. If she would find out if the issue was her or Franklin. Sometimes Franklin would be late, forget to call and tell her so. She’d sit, watch the television, read a book, bore herself staring at the computer screen in the spare room. Then panic until he’d come home. Lately Claire had figured that every call that came through was someone from the station to tell her Franklin had gone and gotten himself killed. Clipped off the side of the road writing a ticket. Stabbed underneath his vest with a buck knife clearing out a fight at the Muncy Pub. Shot through the eye during
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Franklin’s not wanting to leave his home town, Claire’s want to get out and go anywhere else, had led to daytime television, cigarettes, the shit computer with the lousy DSL, and paperback novels bought from the collapsing supermarket just past the grassed over railroad tracks. Claire took the last of her pills, spent the morning writing letters to Franklin. Letters about how unhappy she was living in a ghost town. Letters about her love for him not being enough to continue living the way she was. Letters about the things she’d been keeping from him. She balled them all up, took them out back and burned them. Figured it’d be better not to destroy Franklin with just her chicken scratch. She drove miles out of town, down the highway, past the rusted empty factories, through a tunnel until a city rose up from the horizon. Driving, she practiced what she was going to say over the phone whenever she stopped wherever she was headed. “Frank, I want a divorce—no—Franky, I need a divorce—no— You’re a wonderful man, Frank, but I’m…goddammit.” She thought of his face, red and melting in grief. She thought of the sounds he would make, wet sobbing and…show more content…
She blinked away tears. Then said, “I’m trying to get myself something to do.” “Well then I think that’s great. But leave a note for me next time, okay? Damn scared me half to death.” Claire sat next to Franklin, lit a cigarette. She started to cry. Nearly lit her hair on fire, cigarette still pinched between her fingers. Franklin wrapped his arm around her shoulders, asked what was wrong. Said he can’t do anything to help if she won’t tell him what’s got her all spun about. Said she needs to calm down so they can talk. Claire wept longer than she thought she needed to. Wondered if it was genuine, or some deep down intention to lie. Franklin asked, “What is it, Claire? What’s going on?” Claire sucked back on her runny nose, couldn’t think of anything to say, but said, “I want a baby, Frank. I want a baby so bad.” “Maybe we should try and talk to one of them baby doctors?” “Maybe.” Claire took Franklin’s hand, stood, led him into the bedroom. *** Their appointment with the specialist was set for a week from Wednesday. During the week leading up to it, Claire kept taking her pill. Kept venturing further away from Muncy every day. Kept bedding Franklin to make up for almost not coming home most days. But she started drinking up most of the beer in the house. Sick and guilty by day, drunk and horny by night, Claire got careless. Left lit cigarettes
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