For Matthew

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Today I am thinking of you and Michigan. Remember how back in the day I didn’t drink coffee? Well, I still don’t care for it much, but I find myself, like today, drinking it from time to time. Helene asks me why I drink. I laugh and shrug.

It’s just past 3 in the afternoon. By now, you must be on your fourth cup of the day. Its suggestion makes me think of us. I remember all the books we collected, stacked on the floor against the wall, and, the alley-found warped mattress angled between the kitchen and bathroom. One weighs one’s purchases of necessity is something you would have said. Somewhere in there when the money had run out, we had stopped going to the bar, instead we would pool the occasional dollar to get a cheap bottle of blended whiskey. I don’t think it was ever much about the whiskey, I think it was more about the walks to the store to buy the whiskey. What do you have to say about it?

There was also a radio; either turned up or turned low, playing forever that summer. I remember it raining a lot. It always seemed to rain when we wanted it to, when we felt like just talking and staying in all night. On nights like those, we would stay up late, our shadows twelve feet tall against the wall, laughing, planning what we were going to do with our lives. Then, at some point, late in the night, our insides would only talk, silent on the outside, pretending not to know this wouldn’t be forever, already missing one another.

___

The featured image, ‘Wanderer’, has been used with permission of artist, Margaret Orr. Her work is available online at redubble.

Jack C. Buck

Jack C. Buck, originally from Michigan, now lives in Denver, Colorado, where is a middle school teacher. His most recent flash fiction has been published in Connotation Press, Flash Fiction Magazine, Birdy Magazine, Ginosko Literary Journal, and L' Allure des Mots. He thanks you for reading his work.

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