Pan Con Mantequilla

I’ve always got a million loose thoughts chasing me around, so I’ve decided to let a few of the more tranquil ones roam the grounds for a spell. This post is for entertainment purposes only, so if you decide to wager based on these results, then you have a serious fucking problem.

  • Juan Soto of the Nacionales has a dreamy swing that seems plucked out of a Kinsella story, and I am very much in love with it.
  • The Cosmo is a really tasty swim and I’m almost jealous it’s a Ladies Night particular. But that’s life.
  • I saw where the McRib is back for a limited time and for a hot second, I contemplated digging into one since it’s been a while. And then I considered what a boneless piggy might look like and decided to make my own version of the McRib. Baby backs, smothered in Sticky Fingers’ Memphis Original and onions and slow cooked till they fell off the bone. Some raw onions on top and tucked into a sesame seed roll with hand cut fries. Much better . . .20191022_175223.jpg
  • As far as pizza goes, vegetarian remains my leader in the clubhouse.
  • I’m not going to see Joker until it comes out in home release. Not because of the prospect of getting shot up in a theater but because the movie is dark as fuck. And the idea of sitting in a dark theater and immersing myself in that darkness ain’t happening. 
  • So of course, I was asked how I can love Rob Zombie flicks so much. Well, because they’re seriously fucked up cartoons. Zombie’s vision of madness and mayhem is art, to me. His characters are equal parts Warhol and Romero. And while the scenarios are rooted in true life, their embellishments feel anomalous enough in comparison.
  • Peloton comes in at a cool sixty bucks a month, whereas I utilize a wholesale method that provides remedy for my girlish figure at pennies on that overrated dollar.
  • Why is there such a stigma to renting? We live in a world where half the population gets divorced and the other half of that half feels like it. We have a reality show President running diplomacy into the ground so hard that war(s) seems likely. And society as we know it teeters over a chasm where a signature event might topple us all. The old days are over, kids.
  • Dark chocolate is always a brilliant method.
  • I think I could play wide receiver for the Dolphins . . like right now.
  • Anyone who uses ‘happenstance’ while describing a situation to me is someone I want to talk to.
  • I mean . . that word is already longer and more substantial than most anything on Twitter. Just saying.
  • Hmmm . . . so not only are we fast food nation, but now we have services that bring the fast food to us so’s we never have to remove our asses from their reclined position? And we’re willing to pay basically the cost of the food in delivery fees to get it done? Sounds like the natural progression to me.
  • Go Simone Biles!

 

 

Matters of Little Consequence

With the Gorilla dead and buried, I continued keeping her blog warm seeing as how her posts had become sporadic in nature. In the early going of this particular arrangement, I felt really good about it. But as time passed and her posts became less frequent, I felt like I was just getting in the way, so I ceased and desisted. From there, things settled into a predictability that was likely driving us mad. We were passionate people playing out the string, and so it only made sense that the end was a matter of when.

By the time 2009 rolled around, I’d started a new blog and then trashed it in short order. And then I tried another one, figuring out something that looked and felt light years different from before. Rooting for Laundry was the predecessor to Drinks Well With Others. My writing had become crisper, more poigant and poetically honest to my writing bones. The Dame was such a magnificent Goddamn writer, it was a slam dunk proposition that she would push me into these Everest-like discoveries. Her influence provided me with with the muster to quit holding back. She taught me that good writing will comfort your soul but great writing will unleash it.

On a personal level, she resented the fact that I never brought up marriage in our second go round. The truth was, our first breakup had provided me the cautionary tale to which I was in no hurry to return. It may not have been fair to her, but there was the matter of self preservation to think about as far as I was concerned. And with that fresh perspective, it occurred to me on more than one occasion that I was plenty fine being single for the rest of my life if push came to shove off. Being a man of a certain age does indeed have its privileges.

I didn’t want us to go away, mind you. I simply didn’t feel an urgency to plant our feet in concrete boots, what with all the many variables we were both toting around. Not the least of which were our respective battles with depression. She wasn’t a crazy bitch who wanted to murder me in my sleep, even if there were times when I swore it was true. She was just a small town rich girl who’d lost her north star existence to death, domestic abuse and a shattered family tree.

It wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t make me happy. In the end, I left her scavenging for tiny little pieces of me, as if scavenging for clearance bargains. What it comes down to is, when you’re never happy, then you have to find a person who at the very least gives you peace of mind.

She wasn’t that.

We drifted in and out of delirious moments interspersed with insanely provocative scenarios and corruptible silences that only served to push us further apart. We believed in something, but we stopped being so certain as to what that something truly was. We were weighted by the debt of our mistakes, we were constrained by the indifference we wore in order to protect ourselves. As a result, our rhythm listed and our swim became fractured under the strain of it all.

Our love story became a double edged sword in which every precious yin begot a forgettable yang.

For every exhilarating tennis match where she kicked my ass, there was a stone cold shoulder moment that pushed us further into the deep. For every hot date night where we got busy lighting the match fantastic, there were nights when we didn’t talk at all. And for every romantic Italian dinner at a joint we found by accident, there was the return visit where she stormed out before the entrees arrived.

If you were to ask me for a microcosm of our time together, I would tell you it came some time after midnight on Easter morning of our final spring. We’d gone Machiavelli on the friendly drinks and with her kids away till morning, we decided to cook up our feast. We started things late night and finished them sometime after who knows what in the very early morning. Drinking and smoking and dancing to Elvis Costello and Wilco, Neil Diamond and Al Green and Aretha Franklin. Bickering and laughing and kissing in between the smoke and fire and ramble of clinks. And when it was done we had roasted lamb, a museum grooved ham, green beans with pancetta, cornbread stuffing, honeyed carrots, garlic mashed and a divine asparagus/tomato/mozzarella salad. We made ourselves mussels with blue cheese and some crumbled bacon for the trouble and we dug in, toasting our dirty, rolled up sleeves whilst clinking Sams. And then we fucked like mad and fell asleep.

We did Miami in June and as great a time as the Clevelander was, that Easter Sunday was really our last great night together. Because the zip code doesn’t make up the rules on a good time, yanno?

And before we both knew it, it was late August and our forever after was being called on account of rain, again, this time for keeps. I would spend Saturday on the couch, watching Ted Kennedy’s funeral whilst keeping company with one part coffee to whatever the fuck parts vodka and a couple packs of smokes.

You have to be a writer to understand that shit.

Next Week: The Epilogue

 

 

 

 

Hello I Must Be Going

Everybody wants a superpower, but nobody wants to pay those dry-cleaning bills.

Personally, I think most of them are overrated. Can you imagine the shit you’re going to be subjected to if your co-workers found out you have the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound and you didn’t pick them up on the way to work?

So forget time traveling or possessing superhuman speed. Don’t give me telepathy, flight, shape shifting or even having Catwoman’s number on speed dial. Because while those superpowers are nice, they ain’t got a thing on mine.

I rarely run into an ex.

That’s it. That’s my superpower. And while it ain’t ever gonna put Iron Man out of business, it works for yours truly. And it’s my great good fortune to have it, seeing as how I’ve got plenty of Rico but precious little Suave for these situations.

Running into Ex

This isn’t to say I haven’t experienced an awkward conversation in line at the grocery store. But more often than not, I’ve been able to avoid the calamitous “Oh heeeeyyyy!” . . which is the single dude preamble to that John Milton novel. Okay, all of ’em.

I found myself behind Red in a Starbucks drive through last week. There she was in her adorable little Fiat, fussing with her fiery red curls as I leaned down to search for something in my glove box in order to escape detection. Red was married, which is why we lasted as long as we did.

Rosemarie was my disco lemonade crush back in the ’80’s, and I really thought I was going to marry her someday, maybe. This was mostly due to the fact a Survivor love ballad always seemed to make the scene when we were skin deep in negotiations. I actually came across her a couple times over the last few years before I was certain it was her, seeing as how she chopped her mane and lost her infectious smile thanks to parenthood. And it’s even money she was thinking the same thing about me.

Ms. Borinquen gifted me an Ireland soccer t-shirt on St Patrick’s Day 2007 after we decided to double down on the merry making at her crib. I spotted her in a downtown cafe a few years back, looking as creamy as ever. After which I switched seats with my coffee pal, just in case the dude she was with happened to be her gun toting baby daddy.

I’m expert at spotting an ex before the ex spots me. As with Mel the poet at Hershey Park . . . Val the therapist at the mall . . . Diana the parole officer in a Jimmy John’s (after which I got Chinese takeout instead) . . . Lisa the perpetual saint of unemployment at a bar . . .

Awkard Ex Conversation

Which brings me to Miss What’s Her Name. She was a teacher who had worked with Red for a while, and we once ran into her at a pub near Red’s condo in town. She was several drinks south of the meridian line by that point in the evening, but she still remembered the chance acquaintance when speaking to Red a few days later. And it was somewhere inside their conversation that Miss What’s Her Name made a rather tawdry suggestion that maybe the three of us could, yanno, have a round table. Sans the table.

Discretion was the better part of Red’s game, so it never happened. And thank God for that, because this woman would end up in a 50 Shades-like scandal a few years later. Seems she had been playing bare naked Hades with several prominent names when a scorned spouse cried foul.

So of fucking course I ran into her. And it was the strangest thing, to run into someone I didn’t sleep with only because the woman I was sleeping with had more sense in her pinkie than I have in . . . umm, mine. Because you know what’s more awkward than running into someone you went Hello Dali with behind closed doors? Running into someone who suggested such an encounter to your married girlfriend.

She asked if I still talk to Red and I told her I didn’t. And then I asked her something to which I have no recollection, because I just wanted to extricate myself from the situation as quickly as possible. And I know she was thinking the same thing, because she was fidgeting like a pitcher with the bases loaded. Thing is, for someone who is locked and loaded when it comes time to find trouble, my arsenal is weaker than the french army when attempting to flee the scene.

Catwoman would have a field day with me.

Matters Of Little Consequence

By the time spring started tickling the air with a dusty fever, the eight hundred pound gorilla had lost most of its weight. Dan was writing sporadically, leaving me to pick up the slack. Meanwhile, me and the Dame were figuring it out. And, because there is no such thing as simple math, a great big matzoh ball of a mystery was being played out, the results of which I wouldn’t learn until the blog was six feet under.

Me and the boys convened at McCleary’s Public House- a river town pub whose patrons were a funky soup of factory workers, college peeps and small business owners. It was the weekend and some cover band was pissing on the platinum sage lyrics of Cobain. When you make Lake of Fire sound like a boy band ballad, you should be brought up on charges.

It was my first and only time meeting Richie, and all those first impressions I’d collected were proving correct. He talked higher than his ass, about everything. When Chris and me started riffing about our ideas for the podcast, Richie had to interject his thoughts on the blog. The dude was floating more bells and whistles than a degenerate gambler on safari in Vegas. So far, he’d delivered shit.

We let him go on for a while since he’d sprung for the first round, but things were getting nowhere at the speed of light. It devolved into him talking about some chick from Jersey, and his businesses and his brilliant mind. His hairline was receding faster than the arctic glaciers, his paunch had more keep than a Rockefeller trust fund and his personality was a flailing strike. And somehow, Dan thought this asshole was a good idea for us.

Speaking of Dan, I couldn’t shake the feeling something was going on, to which Dan and Chris were holding tight. It wasn’t unusual to feel like the third wheel around those two, but this was different and I was pretty certain it had to do with the blog. It was doing nothing to assuage my suspicions that Chris and Dan were planning a mutiny. It didn’t matter that I was the only erstwhile scribe the fucking thing had going. By this point, nothing about the blog was making any sense. 

“So what’s this about you writing on that chick’s blog?” Richie asked me out of the blue.

The question felt like a punch to the face once I realized what he was talking about. It took a few moments to put together where this line of questioning could have come from. Dan.

“What in the blessed fuck does that have to do with getting us a website?” I asked.

“She hot?”

“She’s not pregnant or your cousin, so you wouldn’t be interested,” I said. The guys all cracked up after which Dan changed the subject quickly.

I was devoting more of my time to the Dame, sure. But that was because she’d stopped writing on the regular and without that steam vent, things could get menacingly perpendicular for us. My involvement in her writing life was equal parts wondrous fascination and self preservation. And it was nobody’s business but our own. 

At this point, I knew I had to take a breather from this catastrophe of a get together or there was going to be a scene. So I told Dan I was going out to call the Dame and gave him a look as if to say If your asshole friend has any inkling to join me, Imma need bail money. 

I called Dame, who cut our chat short because her oldest daughter was visiting, so I delayed my return inside by talking with Till Tuesday and her new friend- a construction worker who’d done work on Lincoln Financial Field. I was starting to feel the buzz of the shots, the Guinness and the smokes. It’s that peaceful, easy feeling when a certain time of the evening goes plush to necessary solutions. I was having such a good time chatting it up, I almost forgot about the miserable shit that awaited me when I went back inside. And then Dan made the scene.

“What’s wrong with you tonight dude?”

“Me? I’m listening to Richie sell us on ground floor real estate to a blog we built, and that you couldn’t care less about writing on now that we have a podcast with Chris. Never mind that it came about only because of the blog,”

“Sorry . . . It’s just, I’ve been going through it and my mind has been shit for,” Dan confessed.

“What’s going on?”

“Me and Em are fighting. I know it’s not fair to you or the blog . . . and maybe that’s what I need to do, you know? Just fucking write again . . take my mind off everything else?”

I almost felt badly for suspecting him of mutiny. Almost. But the more questions I threw his way, the more he ducked and ran. And while I knew this wasn’t about the blog, I also knew it was adversely affecting it.  So I got to pressing before . . .

“You fellas going to Haydn Zugs?”

Standing directly in front of us was a breathalyzer test’s wet dream and this asshole wasn’t taking no for an answer.

“Sorry man, but if we were going there . . why would we be here?” I asked with a straight face. The irony was lost on him.

“I need a ride there! I got a date!”

“So . . what was the plan exactly? Get drunk here, with no ride to the place where you have a date . . . ” I smiled.

“It’s not your fucking business,” He slurred.

“Incorrect. Because you made it my business when you asked for a ride, Sparky,”

“Fuck you then . . I’ll just slash your tires!”

“Hey fuckhead, get a cab!” Dan bellowed, stepping forward and opening his jacket to reveal his revolver. He had a permit to carry, but I’m pretty sure he still would’ve carried it even without one.

“I’m calling my brother, man . . . he’s a state cop!”

“Call him and tell him you’re drunk and you’re gonna slash some tires . . and then tell him to bring donuts. Chocolate glazed . . .” I laughed.

“I should fucking call him right now . . .”

“Call him . . . ” I said calmly. “Tell him that I prevented you from slashing some tires by kicking your ass. After which my friend here put you down after you reached for his gun when he was trying to pull me off you before I put you in a coma,”

“You guys are fucking nuts!” He shouted as he walked off into the night as me and Dan laughed our asses off whilst popping the top on another pack of smokes.

The episode was a microcosm of the blog: An accident of misbegotten times and places that was blatantly offensive and downright stupid. A bat-shit crazy run on sentence that was destined for nothing good.

Full of bluster and fire until it stumbled off into the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matters Of Little Consequence

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit in the wind, and you don’t rekindle a spark that led to a five alarm fire that burned down your whole fucking house. But hey, morbid curiosity happens to be my weakness, and I have a closet full of chips to prove it. It’s not like I can help it. Besides, I had to experience what a second act was going to feel like. I imagined Beethoven coming back to finish his unfinished business. With lots of acrimony, ill gotten meds, screaming passion and obscenely constructed adult beverages tossed into the mix. 

I missed her over those forty six days, yes. But I missed the craziness of it all just as much. When you suffer from depression and you ride up on something that makes you feel differently, you crave more of that drug, because you need to keep that high going.

It wasn’t about being happy inside our time together, because for me it never is. But with her, I was bending the edges of the milky way and cunning the logic out of madness in a plush Al Green spill of narratives and events and twists and turns that perplexed and sometimes even confounded me. When you ain’t gonna find happiness, you become expert at finding an even more potent secondary market fix. And she was it.

I had lied to her in the early going of our first go round. Silly little fabrications that were polymer laden cliches from dollar bin romance novels that would’ve made Hemingway shoot himself in the head all over again. And yet, it felt appropriate to do so for the purpose of our inevitable expedition.

I’d say stuff like how I wanted to sleep in the same bed with someone for more than a night or two. And how I liked Dave Matthews, and movies with sub titles. And gin. These were not awful lies. Let’s just say they were renderings of negligible parody; symmetrical flourishes that helped fortify our connection, and whose obsequious nature would make me seem less contented with bachelorhood than I really was.

Truth is, I loved sleeping alone and I hated Dave Matthews and movies with sub titles. And I wasn’t all that crazy about gin either. But if love teaches you anything, it is to lie with prudence. Never, ever lie about fidelity. But stupid shit? Have at it.

See, searching for the truth and telling the truth are mutually exclusive concepts. We tend to the former as if a prized topiary; we devour self help books and then crash diet on the tenets of stoicism whilst strengthening our unsteady legs with Zen exercises compiled by people with thousand dollar tan lines. It numbs us to any kind of honest perspective to such an extent that telling the truth is forced to take the bus.

I never lied to the Dame about another woman, because fidelity has always been my genuine kitsch. I have done some extraordinarily fucked up shit in my life, but I’ve also never cheated inside of a committed relationship. Even made up committed relationships with married women. Even those. I blame the fact that I was raised on sitcoms with thirty second lead in tunes. And Barbara Streisand.

Our breakup in November was opera, but it was her opera. She was stranded on an island of infidelities forged by her caveman of an ex husband. And so when I came along, of course she filled in those gaps as if she were the post mistress of Tombstone. After which came the accusations she threw at my head like an Aroldis Chapman fastball that was double dating with the grim reaper. She accused me of messing around and she had a laundry list of license plates. And I didn’t take too kindly to being accused of something I wasn’t enjoying, so we had our what’s what moment. And it ended rather abruptly.

So this second time around thing was, to put it mildly, dubious. But so everlastingly worth figuring out just the same. Just because it was so much more worth it than pulling some cheery high note from a website clearinghouse of feel good quotes in order to make Mondays go down a little smoother.

Never mind there was a good chance she was gonna kill me for real the second time around.

I wasn’t holding it against her.

 

 

 

 

 

Matters Of Little Consequence

Sunday August 5, 2007: The plane banked hard as it took its slot inside a gaggle of interloping tin birds looking to scavenge solid ground for a spell. My window seat provided me a dashboard view of a town whose skyline was a soothing weep of mayhem and mystery, built on hard promises, like a dice game that never gets finished.

Chicago is a stylized ritual of muck and mortar neighborhoods wrestling the waist of high spire glass totems whose fire spills out genius dreamers hopped up on caffeine and anti-depressants. From the sky, none of that matters because it’s a seductive postcard whose come hither purrs love songs from a time so lost to present day, you wouldn’t even bother pasting it to a milk carton.

It had been more than a decade since I’d been to Chi town, and lots had changed. Harry Caray had gone to that big ballpark in the sky and Michael Jordan had retired for good. On the positive side of the ledger, the White Sox had broken a billy goat curse which allowed Shoeless Joe to finally rest in peace. And a Senator named Barack was making big noise on the national level, threatening to make Chicago politics something much more relevant than a punchline reserved for happy hour.

The truth is, the nostalgia didn’t mean a thing to me. I would have been plenty fine meeting her at an Applebee’s in Fargo, North Dakota. Because from the get, it really felt like the moon was throwing us a ladder and the stars were giving us a chance and Al Green was cleaning his soulful pipes for us as if we were close personal friends. And when nothing else matters the way nothing else was mattering to me right then? Well . . I knew I was fucked.

Yes, I should have been a touch spooked by her Shakespearean tragedy of a family history, but I wasn’t cutting or running. It was as if I was provoking the damnedest parts of me into turning another page of this mystery novel called Her. Because she was my favorite Elvis Costello song without even trying.

I stepped off the plane and began reacquainting myself with O’Hare, which always reminded me of a movie set, replete with a full-throated cast of characters bustling around as if there were medals in the offing. I made my way upstairs and then out into the street where I began looking for my ride. I scanned left to right and back again. Nothing. And then a thought rushed up on me before I could stop it. What if she had second thoughts about this meeting?

And then I turned to find her standing by the side of her car looking right at me. She was double take beautiful, with crazy blonde hair that rained down her shoulders. And I was going to be the guy every other guy would envy as soon as I swooped her up.

When I turned and began walking in her direction, she loosed a shy girl smile in my direction as her eyes turned away from mine before they could give too much away. I walked up to her and lifted her into an embrace to make it real. Her response let me know what the rest of our afternoon was going to look like.

I had made reservations at a DoubleTree near her place. As far as her kids were concerned, she had decided against introductions on my initial trip out to see her. We had agreed that it was important to see what our dynamic was going to feel like once we were in the same place at the same time.

It didn’t take long to figure us out, though. As we knocked back a couple of lagers, we talked and laughed and finished each other’s sentences as if we’d been doing it for a lifetime. It felt so much more relevant than a simple connection to another individual. And while I had never really believed in soul mates, she was changing my mind with every spell binding turn.

We went for a walk afterwards, to spin away any of the residual anxiety we might have been holding onto. And that’s when I brought her into me for our first real kiss; a kiss that crushed time into a velvety plush. It wasn’t simply a kiss. No. From that moment on, we would refer to the moment when clarity knocked on our door as The Kiss.

It was the end of the world as we knew it.

Matters Of Little Consequence

One of the most magical events in a person’s life is when you bring a puppy home for the first time. The moments brimming with hope and joy and a feeling that centers you as if a marigold on spring’s first day. You paint countless scenarios in your brain, each one more optimistic than the last. And nowhere inside all those many scenarios do you even remotely imagine the reality of the situation.

You never think about the fact that your little puppy is gonna die one day.

Of course you don’t, because who in their right mind would take into consideration such a tragic circumstance? I mean, those kinds of thought processes are reserved for flaming anarchists, Scientologists and actuaries. Heartless actuaries.

Love is the very same thing.

When you lock eyes with a stranger across a crowded floor, or go out on a first date or have a three and a half hour phone conversation with a perfect stranger. And know. You just know. As if the universe went through all the trouble of being born, coming of age and growing old . . . for you.  So that you could arrive at that moment when you figured out the ending you didn’t even know you were looking for.

You never once think about forever having an end.

I woke up on Friday, June 8th 2007 and felt more charmed than the lovechild of Brad Pitt and Vera Farmiga. It didn’t matter in the least that it was too early to be wearing a smile. I woke up thinking it had to be the middle of the afternoon before my alarm clock corrected me with half past six. Less than six hours prior, I’d been pinballing through the witching hours with a voice that left me wanting more of that good thing.

The Dame was every bit of that beautiful storm that I’d been keeping track of for most of the last couple months. Hers was a mystic thrown down from that fateful moment when Eve told Adam that she might want to marry him one day if he watched his weight and kept that firm body.

The Dame was crazy, but a crazy borne of hard wrought places that belied her silver spoon existence. She was a rich man’s daughter but she wasn’t spoiled. She was a looker but she wasn’t conceited in the least. She possessed as brilliant a pen as I’d ever had the privilege of knowing on a first name basis. And she never once talked about it inside the three and a half hours that catapulted us from strangers into something more than friends.

And her timing was madly provocative, as if her words danced inside the language of honeybees. Her smoking gun was left on my doorstep with a Pinot fueled come hither that left me stranded in the middle of dry land. She stapled three little words to every lonely part of me before hanging up.

“Just get here,” 

It wasn’t fair, which had been her intention. The merry bachelor who played single dad with french toast and long hikes and playboy chef when I had the weekends to myself, had been harpooned like a fucking Marlin. I just didn’t know it yet.

I put a second pot of coffee on before settling down to check my comments on the Gorilla when Dan finally decided to return my call.

“Yo!” Dan bellowed, his voice thick with exhaustion and nicotine.

“About time man, I called you after hanging up with the Dame last night,” I said with mock exasperation.

“Sorry honey, but I was busy working while you were drinking martinis and talking to a hot chick from Chicago,” Dan laughed.

“Don’t be jealous,”

“Hey dude, I’m married, jealousy’s all I got left. So how did it go?”

“Without sounding too excitable . . . fucking amazing! She’s smarter than she writes, she’s funnier than she writes and if her voice could get me pregnant, I’d be shopping for cribs right about now,”

“So . . that’s good, right?” Dan laughed whilst scarfing down a breakfast sandwich and chasing it with a couple smokes on his back porch.

“That’s great, except for the fact that she’s got three kids, and she’s having issues with them because of her neanderthal husband who won’t cut her any slack, and she lives in Chicago, and she’s given up on dating or ever being happy again,”

Granted, there were more exemptions inside that statement than you’ll find on a billionaire’s tax returns, but I was smitten. Me . . smitten. What in the blessed fuck was the world coming to?

“But you guys hit it off?”

“We hit it out of the fucking park is what we did, Tonto. And now I have to slow things down because my mind is gonna jump out of my skull if I don’t,”

“There’s time. And oh hey! I read that Rabbit Hole chick, fantastic shit man!”

“I told you! Now see . . she is crazy. But I mean, how can you not be crazy when you write stuff like that. I’m glad you liked,”

“Loved it. Hey, I’m gonna crash but I’ll call you on my way into work tonight. You gonna be around?”

“I’ll be here,” I said.

“Whoa, this girl really did a number on you,” Dan laughed before hanging up.

I thought about what Dan had said before the gurgling noise snapped me back. I ran into the kitchen to find my dime on the dollar coffee maker dying. I’d been separated for almost two years and had already gone through half a dozen coffee makers since I couldn’t bring myself to buy another Bunn. Never mind that I had the thing for ten years without a hitch, I wasn’t shelling out a couple hundred dollars without a mortgage and joint back accounts to hide it inside of.

I was able to rescue a cup of Joe from the devastation, after which I placed the carafe on the counter and escorted the scrapheap out. I’d scored a writers pad rental less than two miles from my old house and I loved the quirks included at no extra charge. Like the fire escape stairwell that was the only way up or down. It hadn’t affected my business, as evidenced by the many high heeled visitors I’d entertained, so that was good enough for me. And besides, it was the perfect way to bury my hard luck coffee makers. It had become sort of a tradition that I toss the latest coffee machine done wrong down the long set of stairs to commemorate it’s untimely demise.

I went in to grab my smokes and the cup of Joe and I turned on some Talking Heads before returning to the proceedings. I sipped and tugged and then I let go of the piece of shit coffee maker, watching it tumble to its death for a second time inside the early morning.

There was symbolism happening loudly inside that moment, but I was too high to notice.