The Valentine That Gave Me My Valentine
Landed in Milwaukee. Finally. A place that needed a carpenter. He settled into his wood shop. Uninsulated. No plumbing. No heat for those sub-zero days. He figured using his hands to work wood—that would keep him warm.
She showed up with three kids in tow. That’s what kept him warm. Or stoked his anger. Or drove him to drink.
He married her. Had two more kids. He gave away his artistry, little Valentine screen repairs, plugs for holes that let Winter in. Nobody would be colder than he was.
Maybe that’s what led to the divorce. A marriage that couldn’t last a brutal winter. Another drift of snow. More icicles on the eaves. Black ice along the front walk.
He slipped into his shop and stayed there, until he couldn’t be alone anymore. Valentine Mitsche, MTM’s great-grandfather, moved in with one of his sons. His ex-wife lived right down the hall.
She followed him everywhere. Or maybe he followed her.
All the way to the end.