I feel rather satisfied when I hand the package over at the post office. And then that evening, because the universe has a wicked sense of humour, he calls me. I’m vacuuming my apartment for the first time since my inspired spring cleaning in April. It’s a beautiful day so I have all the windows open and I’m even moving furniture around to make sure I get all the neglected corners. As I am pushing the couch back against the wall, my phone starts to vibrate. I leave the couch in its diagonal position and dig my phone out of my pocket. My screen tells me that it’s Ethan calling.
No fucking way, I think to myself.
I joined Joel on the couch and put my hand on his cheek. I could certainly feel him. I gently stroked his scruffy cheek and then pat it lightly. Then, before I really knew what I was doing I pulled my hand back and slapped him as hard as I could. He turned the page of his book. I looked at Rachel, feeling a bit guilty, but she didn’t seem at all surprised at what I had just done.
Stuck Like Magnets to the Fridge
Towards the end of the row, there was a crate that seemed empty and Hope walked right passed it. But I peered inside and all of a sudden felt my breath catch in my throat. Inside, sitting silently just in front of the wall, was a German Shepherd mix. He was quiet, but he didn’t seem dejected. He just sat with his two jet-black front paws poised perfectly in front of him and stared back at me.
The Familiar Smell of Coffee in the Morning
When the door closes three magnets tumble to the floor and before I do anything else I pick them up and admire each of them. They were each bought in a different city years ago when Patrick and I took our trip around the world. I smile to myself. We were so broke, pretty much living off of bread and cheese as we tried to get from city to city. Still, we wanted a memory from each place and, as gaudy as they were, the magnets were affordable. I smile to myself and place them back in their spots.
I sit down at the little table by the kitchen window and watch her as she cracks two eggs into a bowl. Her reddish-brown hair is up high in a carelessly knotted bun and she still has smudged traces of black eyeliner under her eyes. She’s wearing a checkered pair of men’s boxers and an old Ramones t-shirt.