And there’s my television. It’s on. I don’t even know what I’m watching, “what time is it?” I ask myself and my voice is unfamiliar, strange. Is someone in the room? Are they asking for the time? The lights are off and there could be someone here, maybe I didn’t see them come in? I don’t remember what I was watching I could’ve forgot someone sat down…but I’m alone, I live alone. “Hey, get me a beer?” Nothing. Surely if there were a stranger here they’d be kind enough to get me a beer…my voice is a little more recognizable to myself. “What if I just walked away from all this…this stupid television, this rotten couch, and my unstrung guitar…my cat is dead, no one needs me,” Nothing. Now I’m just talking to myself. “What if I killed, MYSELF?!” That felt good.
“Hurry,” was what she said…in my dream and what I wish to hear every morning but I woke up and that’s not what she said, I don’t know what she said, and she’s been dead awhile. I’ve known a lot of people that are dead now, but she bothers me the most. I’ll be in a bar, we went to a lot of bars, and I’ll think I see her and think it’s her and inside I feel a chill, like a little tickle, and I’ll shrug my shoulders like she’s scratching my back and giggle and twist and more than once a bartender has cut me off, totally harmless, but drunk nonetheless and should’ve probably been home I have a cat to feed and he’s kind of needy.
There is a liquor store in South Boston on Dorchester Avenue I’m sure still exists because liquor stores make money. It’s where I’d buy my cigarettes and liquor and toilet paper and cans of soup, and whatever I was poor. Some time after I moved in to my townhouse apartment down the avenue, the liquor store was renovated with a lounge for lotto customers. No matter what time of day, people of all kinds sat around a television mounted high on a wall watching Keno drawings talking about their numbers and themselves and where they came from and why. “I always use the numbers 9, 18, 47, and 71…my old hockey jersey number was 9, my daughter is 18, and I was born at 4771 Vinton street, down the road, born and raised, my Dad was from….”
This was years ago. We were picking up a friend from the airport.
“My Mom was a nurse, so was my aunt. I never wanted to be anything else.”
It was late and we were both tired. We’d just met and told each other stories to stay awake and get to know each other.
I’m thinking about bills and money. I’m thinking about work. I’m thinking about politics and the future and having a child – maybe, eventually, soon – and the world I’ll leave a child and what it’ll be like when I’m gone and when Margaret is gone.