Catsodadso

Catsodadso

Grace D’Anca 4/2018

You introduced me to Vietnamese coffee.

I didn’t know what to expect when we met at the needle’s eye noodle place

in the Sunset. You rode your motorcycle in the cold and I

struggled to park even before we all had as many

cars as fingers and toes and before meters

cost as much as a day’s pay. Waiting for the coffee to drip

into the thick sweet milk you told me how you liked to ride through

the park in the morning mist and see the ducks and the daffodils.

This, the other side of  your sly wicked self. I was

always impatient for that coffee to brew. You

could smoke a cigarette and tell me about him or

her, names I heard before but could never connect

to ongoing identity. I never thought we’d become friends

passing through coincidental housing with those coke and leather people.

I used to slam doors at dishes you left in the sink, an electric cord

strung across a doorway and other atrocities. I’d say how

are you and you’d  say Welllll

okay on the way to how, so I began to say hope

 you’re good when time was impatient.

 

We were supposed to see a matinee.

I called, called, called, days and days on the black

kitchen phone with the curly cord

left a torrent of messages that you never answered.

Drove by your house to see your beat up beetle with a fan

of withered tickets under the wiper. Rang wrung

got the manager, reluctant to open your door

a hard push with many packages in the way.

You got a lot of parcels he said.

 

Not long before this you had a garage sale, peculiar

with hordes of women’s shoes all in boxes. You’d grown

thin, seemed fragmented with the all people, shoes and a secret

joy. Retired, you had more time to ponder, forget

slip in and out.

 

I’m not supposed to do this the manger said opening the door

a crack. We could see piles and mounds and paths of stuff. Your beloved Catso

made excruciating  sounds and you were lying upturned on the couch. I tried

to press myself through the walls, out of  the reality. We said

we hadn’t been inside your place in a long time

how you always made it nice for such a small space. Medics

brought you out covered with a crinkly silver blanket.

They said you were alive and had been down for a long time.

 

Your redneck brother and sister came

from hell the hole Texas town you fled.

We argued about what you would want

since your brain might never

think like you again.

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