GALETTE FOR ONE
My butcher, the little park across from the record store, the pudgy bird whose rustling in the window box let me know dawn was approaching. I still had a few days left, but was already missing it all.
It must have been the same with her, with me but that was another country and despite what she always told me, described in detail, I would never know.
The girl at the boucherie, she is shorter than me and I am of average height on my good days. There is a playful lilt to her voice. She calls me "The Russian" and often asks me to repeat my order just to hear the words said in accent.
Her parents own the place, and weekdays she and her brothers run the front, all wearing white aprons slung over one shoulder toga style, knives in hand, looking like Roman senators on their way to see Cesar.
When I say something or other which makes her laugh, I am often tempted to take her for a drink or dancing. I think it could be fun but also of what she may really want. Inside I am going through my winter. When I feel run down, their steaks are an important part of my cure, too necessary to risk.
In the end though, before anything else induced her hatred of me; would be hatred born of a knowledge, my calculations of how many pounds of meat an "us" had been worth to me.
I get home a little later than normal. The rain had emptied the streets, washing everyone away. In the midst of her rounds, the cat stops at the top of the stairs and looks over her shoulders at me. She hates being seen while working and waits for me to make the first move before padding on down the hall.
I had left the window off the kitchen open and now one whole section of the wall by the light was graffitied with tiny red and green bugs. I put a sock over my hand and commence beating out a rhythm. A bolero later, everything stopped moving, for the rest, it could wait until later.
I drew a hot bath. The radio was in the doorway, Monteverdi bouncing off of the fogged up glass of the windows, trees swaying, rain racing the condensation to the bottom panes.
I get in slowly. Recline and start to read some poetry. I am too full of my own daydreams for it to hold my attention. I slowly look around the room. Soon, I will leave this too.
My sex, red from the hot water, slowly bobs from side to side; an amphibious creature temporarily tired of play, as the tide carries him to and fro.
Finally the water cools and bored, I decide to get out. Like trouble, there is a science to getting out of the tub. Sitting forward I scowl, a belly. I think of all those turns around the Luxembourg. No, it was just the posture. Standing, it is gone.
I go to the kitchen. Using my finger, I roughly rip open a piece of bread and put the last of the cheese in it.
Tomorrow I need more groceries, but only enough for a few days, the last days.
The next day it is still raining hard. The rain opaques my glasses, I take them off. I go to my boucherie, she is at the front counter alone. From an open door in the back I see her brother, the one who definitely did not like me, straining forward, as he watches a small black and white television.
No one else coming in, we talk. I tell her I am leaving soon. She is thinking about going back to school. On a clean piece of butcher paper I draw a lion in profile and put my address. I leave imagining all kinds of things good and bad.
I am dizzy, too much cold rain has hit my head. I go to a nearby café for a quick café-fin.
I watch people hurriedly walking by. One person walks back and forth in front of me several times. She comes in, close enough that I can finally see her frown. I point to the wet glasses poking out of my shirt pocket.
She kisses me and hands over the steak I had forgotten, running back down the street over the wet cobblestones.
(image: City of Light by Wayne Wolfson)
FICTION & POETRY ARCHIVE
- Fast Food From The Moon
- At Witz End
- Brotherhoods of Breath - Moroccan Sufi Trance Today
- My Rival - Alex Chilton Remembered
- Goddamn Lonely Love: M. Ward, Lucinda Williams, and Jason Isbell
- Edwyn Collins rocks Double Denim at the Moseley Folk Festival
- Drained by the Dish Doctor
- Kevin shields Godlike genius, plastic cups and the Irish Burning Man.
- Micachu and Black Dice: Rip Up Your Love
- We Like American Music: Titus Andronicus and The Red Krayola