Quiet Night, Cold City

Quiet night. Cold front has us all down, low, homebodied, sheltered in place. Chat is quiet. Phone is quiet. Internet is quiet. Been home all day, restless evening, nothing doing. I get stir-crazy like this and don’t feel like life is lived right if I’m home alone all day, and them old feelings come raging back, making me risk the exposure. Shoes on and mad dash to get espresso from Epoch before close. First trip out today, at 9:30 pm. Got to the place, empty lot, Ian at the reg, Tiff keeping company. “Espresso, no Topo, add $3 tip”, I breathe through my mask. Wave hi to Tiff. Ian looking at shutting down early, slow night. Pace the patio until the cup of dark warm love appears from under the plexiglass screen. Turn the corner to stand at my rental car to enjoy the moment in the open air. The paranoid homeless street preacher dying of cancer beelines toward me from a distance, says, “Hey old-timer, how ya doin’.” Already a third into a fifth of engine cleaner. I just can’t have a moment. So we spit about coffee, booze, smokes, cars, politics, until he goes off the rails. Luckily espresso is quick. I tap out, head to the grocer. En route coughing, hacking up the loose stuff, my chest has been a problem of late. My denial is strong. Seems I have problems keeping the traffic on the southbound lanes going down the right exits, so sometimes I take the hit when I swallow. Of course my lungs complain. This cold will take some time to adjust as I take out all my winter clothes and remember how to bundle up, learn how to adjust the thermostat at my new apartment for heat. I should feel pampered and whole, but all the lights are on, it’s cold, I have a cough, I’m alone, and my soul is strapped down by all the nights in all the back bedrooms of all the cold trailers I’ve lived in beyond the city limits of my hometown, not knowing what drama will appear to make me want to disappear. I should be my own man, accomplished, motivated, successful. But I’m a restlessly bored geezer nagged by hungry ghosts. I guess that’s the true spirit of Halloween.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?