Neon Taco

It presented an odd cast the sign above the Help-Wanted sign did.
Perhaps a strand of melted cheese or lettuce was on the fritz.
It appeared to have been bitten into.
The waitress points to a guy in the corner booth.
I tell the guy I’ve washed dishes in Nebraska once.
He was not awfully concerned what with where but so hands me an apron.
The morning residual is piled teetering in the back in the sink.
I find the radio and turn the water to hot and on.
I used to catch hell out of the Dolly Varden out back of Happy’s Inn.
This place is not like that.
The waitress is deciding to have an issue with spoons.
She is questioning the current availability of clean ones.
I don’t know what to tell her I tell her.
She appears quite flustered, like she could almost not give a crap.
My father loading shot-gun shells tells me the one about expectations, and well…shuddered in the end I suppose.
The crates outback are for smoking, or at the least to sit on while you smoke, but you get the picture.
The dog is roaming and she is leaning. The woman with the convertible and the dog back here are roaming and leaning.
She does not appear flustered. Pleasant almost at a distance.
She says she is headed up to Moab.
Her and Monkey Wrench.
A copy of Updike’s A&P to read naked and aloud upon the sandstone.
Tuna sandwich packed water and such she says.
I tell her the patty melt, that I was considering the patty melt for lunch.

Industrial Strength

The light over the door on the dock.
The steps up yep that’s it.
They are slick.
We are here line forms there.
Okay so we hug brick.
A few of the guys lean.
Me I don’t lean.
I simply occupy the space.
It’s the brick I suppose.
All the leaning against.
The slimy film accumulates.
The rectangular that just seems to go on and on.
Well…not right here more a horizon thing.
Gretchen has not arrived yet.
You lean. I see you are a leaner.

“Where is Gretchen?”
“She is not here yet.”
“Why not?”
“We do not know we just got here.”
“What time is it?”
“She will be here.”
“Where is Gretchen?”
“We do not know.”
“How long you been here?”
“We just got here.”
“What the crap?”
“Where’s Gretchen?”

You see they all lean.

“She is not here.”
“Why not?”
“We don’t know we just got here.”
“I’m supposed to make coffee.”
“She’ll be here.”
“Where’s Gretchen?”
“She is not here.”
“Did you go out yesterday?”
“Yep gravel pit.”
“Where is Gretchen?”
“She is not here yet.”
“What time is it?”
This space I have decided I will no longer occupy.
Things will go sideways in a hurry soon.
Like I said not right here.
Catatonic.
I know this great place for breakfast.
The food comes in on a train and goes around and around.

The food and the train going around and around.
It never stops.

Spur-Line

“Well all I’m saying is that it was not all that bad,” he said.
“My hips hurt and there was nowhere to pee,” she said.
“We did ok, we did alright, right up to winter and some,” he said.
“The thrift store, everything was a quarter, or a dime, she said.
“We had plenty of blankets,” he said.
“And those big pillows,” she said.
“It wasn’t so bad,” he said.
“It was cold,” she said.
“Those guys spent Christmas with us, all the food from Vivian’s, he said.
“They were headed to Seattle,” she said.
“The stove worked good, we were stuffed,” he said.
“They split all that wood for us,” she said.
‘That was a good Christmas,” he said.
“The walk in along the hi-way, all the warm faces
always going by,” she said.
“All the color and the fields,” he said.
“And the rabbits, and skunks in the ditch,” she said.
“Boy you could run when you had to,” he said.
“Lugging all the groceries,” she said.
“Why did you come back?” he said
“Back?” she said
“That night at the Laundro-Mat,”
he said.
“I was cold and tired, he had a car,” she said.
“I remember looking around, putting it all together,” he said.
“Denver sounded so civilized, so pleasant,” she said.
“But why did you come back?” he said, “To a box-car then.”
“Why?” she said.
“Yes of course?” he said.
“For this stove, and this kettle,
and the macaroni and cheese,” she said.

Spur-Line

“Well all I’m saying is that it was not all that bad,” he said.
“My hips hurt and there was nowhere to pee,” she said.
“We did ok, we did alright, right up to winter and some,” he said.
“The thrift store, everything was a quarter, or a dime, she said.
“We had plenty of blankets,” he said.
“And those big pillows,” she said.
“It wasn’t so bad,” he said.
“It was cold,” she said.
“Those guys spent Christmas with us, all the food from Vivian’s, he said.
“They were headed to Seattle,” she said.
“The stove worked good, we were stuffed,” he said.
“They split all that wood for us,” she said.
‘That was a good Christmas,” he said.
“The walk in along the hi-way, all the warm faces
always going by,” she said.
“All the color and the fields,” he said.
“And the rabbits, and skunks in the ditch,” she said.
“Boy you could run when you had to,” he said.
“Lugging all the groceries,” she said.
“Why did you come back?” he said
“Back?” she said
“That night at the Laundro-Mat,”
he said.
“I was cold and tired, he had a car,” she said.
“I remember looking around, putting it all together,” he said.
“Denver sounded so civilized, so pleasant,” she said.
“But why did you come back?” he said, “To a box-car then.”
“Why?” she said.
“Yes of course?” he said.
“For this stove, and this kettle,
and the macaroni and cheese,” she said.

Power Glide

All I know about the picture is that we took that car some places.
When we were first married. The first couple of years I suppose.
That’s what we did. We drove that car

I’d say, “Get me a beer.”
She’d say, “Get your own goddamn beer.”
I’d get my own beer and take my boots off.
She’d say “Take off your boots.”

Pedal worked at the Safeway, in produce.
She was always home around three.
She quilted. She would quilt and watch As the World Turns.

So I’d say, “Lets take a run up to the lake.”
She’d say, “The lake sounds fine.”
I’d stand in my socks on the kitchen floor and watch her
through the doorway. Sometimes her fingers bled.
She’d say, “Hon…get me a beer will ya.”

Anyway, yes, we drove the crap out of that car.
I got drunk one night and center punched a fire hydrant.
There was a lot of water.
Quite a few people milling about trying to clean up the mess.
The car did not operate properly after that.
Come to think of it, not much did.

Fluted Task

Clive and his wife Zoe were standing
in front of Sushi Ichiban. It was not 11 yet.
Clive was futzing with his camera and
thinking the traffic felt compressive.
“The traffic feels dense,” he said.
“We’re downtown dear,” she said
He said that the food came around on a little train the idea of which to Clive, sounded promising.

Clive was collecting shots of fire hydrants, and had been since the couple left Denver 10 days ago last week. For Clive it was about the exposure, an acquired patina, over time. And you know, they are always just standing around anyways.

“The hydrant on the corner is purple, Clive said.
“Can we eat first,” Zoe said.
“I’ll just cross over real quick,” Clive said.
“I’ll not wait a quarter past,” Zoe said.

The hydrant stood at the southwest corner of the intersection.
It was sandwiched between crosswalk and stoplight poles.
The hydrant was painted a crisp purple. There were brushstrokes.

The cross-town stops next to the hydrant every 45 minutes.
Around noon the driver gets a bag of popcorn and takes a leak.
The hydrant is silver, and which someone has placed a knitted cap atop. It is a seasonal thing now.

He cannot see the hydrant from his spot on the bench while the driver is peeing. He considers the accumulation, the layers, the emulsification. Urban sequestration. He considers the fizzy green threads, and deli-sliced or individually wrapped.

Non-Stick

“Remember how when I used to tell you that it was something, a layer or whatever just beneath that first shiny film of your eyes.
Remember how I would tell you that?” he said.

“You said there was something, yes something you could not account for, you said that,” she said.

“Something to consider, nothing tangible, not like corrugated metal or anything like that, but with a heft to it,” he said.

“You said my eyes were like pools you were not allowed to go into the deep end of yet…you said that,” she said.

“I said that,” he said.
“You did ,” she said.

“ I have been considering this something for sometime, this non-linear co-existence, the coarse weave,” he said.

“You said my eyes were like pools, you said that much… you said a lot of things,” she said.

“One may only surmise mind you my observations, my failures, my rigorous inability to compromise. Remember my inability to compromise?” he said.

“I remember extinction bursts associated with your attempts at compromise, they were not pretty,” she said.

“Yes Kevlar is a fabric to consider, and carbon-fiber,” he said.

“How is your fish dear?” she said.
“The fish? The fish is fine,” he said.