Gary Rinsem

Susan's E-Cricket
Begun in 2010
Continues in 2021
Alive again in 2023

  • Susan's Jiminy - Last Gasp

Cigareets and Whiskey and Wild Wild E-Crickets, they'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane.

November 21, 2020

Perplexed as hell, Susan timidly asked if I'd heard the electronic cricket. A band? No, somewhere in the house. She knew it was the smoke detector. Sue was playing a game. It didn't take much to figure out what she was doing.

It was obvious she thought I'd think she was nuts. That's what she wanted. I played on her faux concern for days, denying I heard it and acting doubting of her sanity. I could deny no more when it chirped outside the bedroom door, while we were laying in bed. I don't recall how long the game played, but we laughed when it ended.

It was seldom at first and I liked it because of the interaction with Susan when it began. Sue had hard gender roles engrained in her, she'd never change the battery because it's a man's job. I'll never change it because I like Sue's E-Cricket. Andrew was still living here. He couldn't take any more when the chirping was a couple times per minute. Andrew changed the battery.

Bad battery or bad detector makes no difference, Sue's E-Cricket soon returned. It was a minor part of our life for a while. Sometimes when Sue mentioned it she asked for the battery to be changed, sometimes she'd just say Jiminy is awake. It started in 2010 or 2011, before we got sick. The last mention from Sue was a few days before she died. She said "Don't change the smoke detector battery. I want to be remembered." Those are the last words I remember her saying to me. I spent the following days by her bed at Hospice. We talked about many things, but I remember none of it.

Seven years Jiminy has kept Susan in the house. It stopped and I didn't notice. I cried because I didn't know how long it took me to notice. That was months ago. Tonight I'm crying because it's back and I realize I love Susan. I've always doubted I really loved her, but no more... seven years after she died I'm finally certain I loved her and I still do.


I hope your Jiminy never quits again!

October 2, 2021

Over ten years since it began. Ten months since I wrote this journal. Yesterday, Jiminy started chirping every few seconds. It continued for hours until late last night when it became a continuous loud high pitch tone. Listening to it for over an hour, I finally went to sleep. It's been more than eight years since Susan asked me not to change the battery. I woke up to Jiminy still squealing, but quietly now. Not much time remaining for Sue's Jiminy... It will be gone soon. I'll let it hang from the cieling until I die, always hoping for periodic chirps. I'm sad, but I'll listen to it happily as long as it lasts. It was her dying wish to be remembered and this noise is un-ignorable.

Still Remembering You...
Still Loving You Susan...

March 22, 2023

Another year and a half has passed. I often remember Jiminy and think of the last words I remember from Susan. Well.... the battery was changed a year and a half ago, but it didn't violate Susan's last wish because her desire was to be remembered, not that the battery remain. The battery was drained with no chance for more Jiminy. Tonight... it started chirping again. Susan, in a few months it will be ten years since you died. I never thought I'd live this long, but here I am listening to Jiminy and remembering you... just as you requested. I don't love lightly, Love and tears... still...