It was the summer of 1796 when we arrived in Nova Scotia and we counted ourselves fortunate to have made our advent during the warm season. In actual fact, most of us were experiencing colder temperatures than we had ever before encountered.
One morning I awoke, and noticed the absence of the rocking movement of the vessel to which I’d grown accustomed. Shouts and cries assailed my ears and strange smells penetrated even through the miasma of our hold. The hatch opened and we blinked at the bright light, then staggered out of the vessel. With its hot sun and its palm trees, Jamaica was in some ways much like home.
The last of the dog walkers hurries out of the park. Slick tells me there are a lot of guys like this guy. That one always makes it a point to talk to Slick, he says. “These guys think that a couple bucks and some hipster shit make them part of the scene. They don’t have a fuckin’ clue.”
It’s Tuesday and my sister, Lilly, will be here any minute. I seat myself at the table for a long, deep look at my kitchen. I’m trying to drink it in, commit it to memory; the kitchen, as it looks to me now; me, as I am now.
“You made it. Who’s the little lady with ya there?” asked someone who I swear looked like Joseph Campbell. I was seriously beginning to think I must be suffering from some kind of heat stroke or something. Across from Joseph was Allen Ginsberg, and there was Jack Kerouac, my teenage hero….
In the ocean, life lives by water. On land, life lives by air. Somewhere along the way, I had gotten those two truths confused, and for decades, I was prone to choking.
The city never seemed to sleep; there was always some place open, some last-chance hole in the wall, some “been here since the first war” kind of joint that would serve you beer and a shot and leave you alone.
Giving up one love to save another sometimes is the only thing that makes sense. Even if it means that your life isn’t as easy as you would like it to be.
When they had left he got up and looked up and down the street. It was a beautiful summer night, and the moon was full, casting a warm glow on the tiny neighbourhood. He’d lived in the house with his wife, Margie going on twenty odd years. Why had she ended it without saying good-bye?
“You serve?” he asked. “Nope, I got a different war on my mind.” The old man took a long look at Charlie. “I reckon you do, young man. I reckon you do.”