What was she doing here in this hot weather? The day was hot and humid, yet going in and out of the subway would have been too expensive. Her chin hit the sidewalk. It happened almost without her realizing it. One minute she was up and the next down. Her whole body hurt but the chin got the worst of it. he hoped someone in the street full of people would offer to help her up. No one did. he struggled up again as best she could, picking up her purse. She shook her head and on she went. The day was too bright to think about heartlessness.
My Little One
It has been years, almost eight. I left you behind, thinking you and I would be together one day again. I rescued you from the streets. Our walks were superb, long and hard, just the way you liked them. I had no way of knowing you would be gone. Your death far away will haunt me forever. Please forgive me.
I don’t remember; it is blurry and not clear. I can’t see your face in my mind anymore. It’s gone. But the feelings, those will remain in me forever. The way my legs would hurry as I walked towards you, how my heart would pound when I looked at you; the redness in my face if you happened to glance at me. These memories have faces. They have skin and bones. It is my heart. My heart has been so stubborn all these years. I met you; nothing was what it had been. I had no map, no way to discern what I was experiencing, not at first. Sometime later I pieced it all together and I knew. Something in you responded to something in me. You were it.
All she had to do was take a shower, have a cup of coffee and a Danish pastry and walk out the door. Someone would come up to her and talk, probably ask for her phone number. It was simple. She enjoyed the attention, though the men often were not exactly what she was looking for. They turned their heads once, twice, sometimes three times when she walked by. Now, she is almost not there. A second or so is all she gets of someone’s eyes. She misses so much of her past life. She liked good after shave lotion, the touch of someone’s hand on hers, the light in someone’s eyes as she went towards him. No, none of that is there anymore.
Whisper the Past
There they all are, they’re all piled up. These are boxes, some big, some small, some medium. Life is in the boxes. Someone went to the trouble of collecting the items in the all the boxes. Some are things that were given to the person. Precious are the items that tell of a lost love, a love felt deeply long ago, or classic books bought and read over and over again or clothes worn for a special occasion, an event that changed the person’s life forever. There is no replacing any of these pieces of personal history. The owner of all this is the person with the rolling suitcases, the person going endlessly from here to there. We have nowhere, the boxes say. You have that in common with us.
We buried him today. His body is 6 feet under. We buried him today. He didn’t want to die. He didn’t know if it is all dark and nothing but dark once your heart stops beating. As the men worked with their shovels before the coffin was lowered, we played Dark Eyes. He loved that song. A long time ago he left his country of origin never to return. Dark Eyes put him back home.
I look at pictures of our old places, our old haunts. I want to be there again. I know I can’t. The places wouldn’t mean much without you. They wouldn’t mean anything if you are not with me. The clothes you wore when we went out. I have kept them all these years. It doesn’t matter if they are old; they mean everything to me. They are yours. Even if you are gone, never to return, they are yours, an important part of our life together. You taught me what that word—together—means. It is two beings walking on the same street, side by side, with the sun always shining. It is companionship at its highest level.
I love you. I will always love you. My love is deeper because it has lost. I will never see you again. All I have of you is what is in my heart and my mind and soul. All I have are visions of you and me together, visions in the past, never the present or the future. I go down the street and sometimes come across a reminder of our time together. The reminder makes me smile when I have long lost the capacity to smile. You made so many great moments happen for me. I will forever be in your debt.
The fat woman looked at her. Her carrot-like dyed hair shone under the kitchen light. “One week! Just one week, she shouted. “If you don’t get out of here in one week, I’ll put you in a home.” “You’ll do what?” The other woman’s voice cracked. ”What are you saying? What type of home?” The fat woman stared at her. “I mean, a nursing home, you old lady.” “I rent a room from you. You are not related to me.” “I can still do it. See if I can’t.” it was too much. It had been too much for a long time. What had her life become, involved with these people? She didn’t want to descend to their level, but it was hard. “Nobody wants you. You have nowhere to live. That’s why you are here,” the fat woman continued. The renter stared at the wall. This is more than enough. The violence, this violence, she didn’t want. She’d seen it before, years ago. Now it had come back to bite her again. She turned her back and went into her room. The fat woman’s live in boyfriend said something. She pretended not to hear.
A chicken with its head cut off–she sighed and turned to look the other way. She felt like those poor chickens art a live poultry place just before they’re taken by the legs to be slaughtered. How much more of this, of this need to cry, to express her feelings some how, some way? Something on TV caught her eye. A little girl, no more than 2, whose life was saved by a miracle. Tears flowed down her face. It was dark and nobody saw her. The tears helped. She felt in control. She was human instead of a smiling robot.
You are disgusting. The entire situation is disgusting. We are standing a few feet away from each and you are harassing me. You say that my cat has scratched a piece of furniture. If you care about that piece of furniture so much, buy something and spray on it so that no cat will go near it. There are 4 cats in the house, cats that you don’t take care of. You tell me that I must be homeless to rent a room in your illegal rooming g house. You know nothing about me. You and your undocumented stepfather (the one who has harassed me in the past) have done me enough harm. According to you, I am a bad person because I care about animals and about things that you don’t care about. No, you lie. My cat has never pooped on that piece of furniture. You are threatening too evict me when you are running a business that you shouldn’t be running. I have proof that I pay to live in this apt. You are beyond belief and you think you can get away with meanness and ugly behavior.