come up to
just chip away
way of knowing
between those two
and a very quiet
if i did
if i did i'd like to wear a mask
how still but being
so here at now
a dark place
i'll start first by sharing my feelings
too windy to
light them all
i am now immune to it
i stepped outside that circle
until it was time to see somebody
Monday, July 9, 2012
Up then out then down the streets and over the bridge then around the coast then down the pier and onto the boat. Then into the cabin then down the upper aisle then into the cabin then down the lower aisle then into the cabin and down the upper aisle then into the cabin then down the lower aisle. Then into the cabin. Then down the lower aisle and onto the peer then down the pier then around the coast then under the bridge and through the streets then in then down.
Down he watches TV beat. Feet up on the couch's broken arm and hot bowl placed on chest and before it's finished he's asleep. Pain the next day from having slept so poorly, in back and neck, feet cold because he forgot a blanket and left them propped all night, the blood pooling somewhere down near his ass he guesses. His toes, which he tries to move, move poorly from lack of circulation, like hands cold. Hands cold from holding a cold beer in the cold night on a cold rock above where he goes sometimes to look at the lights below, and on days off he—only he—can even see the boats, their triage of red lights so faint in the nightly fog. It's hard, it is, to think of himself down in that boat, on a work night, standing there telling the same story three times, always having to act it out, the highs and lows, to get the laughs and sighs. Many more laughs than sighs, of course. It's hard to think about because he's way up here, on this cold rock, drinking this cold beer, trying to light a cigarette but the circulation's gone out of his thumb so bad he can hardly click the lighter, each stroke a struggle like some physical therapy session.
It sure is cold. The wind blows up here unlike down there and he always forgets it. Always thinks a light jacket will be fine. But he doesn't have it as bad as the couple on the date here for the first time, the guy giving his obligatory jacket but it's not much use when she's got that skirt and those high heels on, her painted toes sticking out, looking sad and pale in the city glow moonlight. At least he's not her; he's got his thin jacket and button up and black denim jeans and boots, always boots, since back when he was a kid.
But now, right now, he's getting off the couch and he's got the whole day ahead of him. Maybe he'll go to the rock tonight after all, ain't got no plans, and he'll be sure to bring a jacket. He him his. But for now, right now, he's got to eat, and so he dresses and brushes his teeth.
Outside it's sunny-cold, not uncommon. It's early because he slept so early. Not the first up though, already there are some about staggering and pushing carts of cans, so loud he's surprised others are sleeping. Nods at one and continues up the block, his block, feeling okay, feeling feeling in the toes again.
The whole day off. Only one this week. He eats eggs and bacon and potatoes with syrup on all but no pancakes or waffles or nothing like that, which he is why after the waitress brings his food he gets a strange look asking for that syrup, and she walks off not angry but more likely tired. She has a tattoo on her arm, a face and under it there are two years with a dash between them. He does the math: twenty years. Before breakfast is over he's thinking about the rock again, about being up there, but he should be down here, figuring out today, so he opens a paper someone left on the table nearby and, drinking his coffee, tries to read the news, but it's not news, because none of it is new to him, just different. He tries to care, he does, he feels guilty too, but like with school he didn't pay attention in the beginning and now the middles and ends don't make much sense. But he likes how he imagines he looks, holding the paper wide like that, and likes that the waitress, his waitress, with the tattoo, can see him doing it.
There's no rush, so he gets another coffee. Free anyway, why not? How often is something free? Pretends to read the paper and tries to listen to other conversations. Those are free, too, but since they're free they're either too quiet or uninteresting, so he looks for the comics which aren't there. The waitress is reading them, drinking her own coffee because it's slow because it's still so early. He wonders how much coffee she drinks a day. Three cups is his limit, or else he gets shaky, nervous, even depressed. Three tops.