By the sea
A dingy single room is his home. Walls are
in need of paint and repair. Phone numbers
are scribbled in places. The poreclain sink
is ringed with rust stains. Roaches! The nasty little creatures, crawling on the dishes he'd left in the sink from a few days before.
The only window has a fan in it and looks
out on a clothes line hung with shirts,
towels, socks and wash rags.
His bed is a couch with sagging cushions,
some with holes from dropped cigarettes.
At this late hour he sits at a makeshift
table and tries to write, to concentrate.
The woman in the next room has got yet
another visitor. Why does love, lust,
passion, or whatever it is, have to make
so much noise?
Loudly slapping the wall he yells,
"Keep it down!" Her response is to bang on
her side of the wall even louder. He shouts
and obscenity. The noise continues as if nothing ever happened.
He gets up, takes his dangling right arm,
pulls it close and stuffs the hand into his
pocket. That helps to keep it from flopping
around and getting in the way. The stroke. He remembers a little of it. Just a little.
Taking a bottle, he pours himself
a drink. Strong and sour, he gulps it down
and pours another.
Back at the table he once again sits to
write. Staring at the blank piece of paper,
he finds himself getting angry that the
words won't come. His words. He's a writer,
so where are the words?
He takes his left arm and sweeps the table
clean, everything hitting the floor, the lamp blinking twice, then the bulb burning out.
Rising, he kicks the table into the
mess and finds a place on the couch to rest. Swallowing the last of his drink, he closes his eyes.
"Love is space and time measured by the heart"