Of course I remembered the name Dick Boac, he worked at Martin Guitars as an “archivist,” a Falstaff type. But I couldn’t remember anything more about him because he was John’s friend, and John died more than 10 years ago now. People take all their stories with them when they go. That’s why I wanted to put mine down and be remembered as more than myself, more by what I wrote than what I did.
We had our friends over for the first time in a while and sat beside the fire. I threw empty bottles like I used to and burned the corn. It was charred on one side like an ashtray but we ate it anyway, our hands all black with corn juice and savage looking. What would our friends think when they went inside? Who lives here? The Subway napkins and take-out containers, the school work all splayed out and the puzzles, the half-eaten bags of popcorn and Sunday newspapers still bagged and unopened. The neglect!
Charlotte, who’s turned our living room into her bedroom and still sleeps with a pink rabbit she calls “Pinky,” named after the time her fingertip got cut off when Dawn dropped her off at a daycare and the steel door slammed shut with her pinky in it and they had to put the little nub on ice in a plastic bag and sew it back on at the hospital. But she got a free stuffed animal when we left, any one she wanted!
The Japanese honeybees surround the murder bee and form a ball of heat and energy with this friction, burning the murder bee before it can call its friends. It’s the same way our bodies fight viruses, Lily says.
Somehow this spring seemed more beautiful than all of the rest. You only get so many springs, and we were all more aware now that one day we’d die.
The clematis blooms went full boor with all the new sun since we had those trees taken out, out front. The rounds from the Doug spruce were still by the sports court and I decided I’d split them come September. There was a lot more wood to burn.
When life boils down to waiting for the rain, and you know it’s coming, the storm. Or that flannel shirt I’ve worn so many times you could put it on a stick like a scarecrow and not need to worry about adding any filling, it could stand on its own.
We passed into a different form of existence. The spoon I use to dole out the cat food would get encrusted and I let the dog gum it off with her teeth. Life meted out in odd-shaped bits like that.
I fell into a pattern of cooking the same chilis and stews. Rainy Saturdays best for gumbo, the seafood and sausage kind with a poaching liquid I make with rockfish and shrimp. I took longer than I needed to with the roux because I liked the nutty smell it made and the texture of it like chocolate butter cream frosting, deep mahogany.
The cat likes to eat in the dark. There’s a sinister quality to what she does in the attic that reminds me of The Silence of the Lambs.
I bought Amazon-branded underwear briefs and they said they were large but didn’t feel like a large. I was starting to punk out around the middle with no exercise, winter extended now deep into spring.
Lily moved out for a week with her grandma and it was a pre-going away to college when we said goodbye. I called my dad and walked through the new development and imagined him talking to me and realized I’m exactly like he is, and happy to be that way. And feel it more and more, each day.