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.”
All she had ever wanted was to go home, to have a cup of tea and a piece of toast with strawberry jam in a white kitchen at the table with a yellow cloth and Snoopy dishtowels on the backs of the chairs. She wanted to pull out her report card, show her Mom the three A’s and a B and the note that she had made the cheerleading squad, could she please get it signed and returned. On this morning she knew that it had never happened that way, never, not once.
Mr. O’Toole sat on his couch in his living room looking down the barrel of a thirty-eight special. Mr. Handerman addressed him again, “Mr. Link wants his money and he wants it now, Mr. O’Toole, so unless you want me to unload this chamber in your head you best pay up, now!”