The Truth About Mirrors
Late at night, when I'm in my office and only the halogen arm lamp above me is on, Honey will sometimes catch a glimpse of my reflection in the sliding glass doors and she'll start barking her deep burglar-alarm bark. I'll assure her that it's only me, but she keeps at it, the hair standing up on her back, until I can finally snap her attention away from the reflection and show her that look, I'm right here, Honey. And she will look at me, pupils big and dark, her brow creased with worry. Then she'll look back at the night glass casting my reflection. Then back at me. And she will huff and sigh and make this agitated noise, almost like speaking and almost like howling. And she will come over to me and nudge me with her nose and put her paw on my leg and wag her tail. Like she is so goddamned happy. So relieved that I'm there. Because, holy crap Daddy-O, did you see that? There was somebody who looked just like you outside. And that was some scary shit, man.
I Didn't Go to DC to End Up Drinking Naked in Bed with Another Woman
Saturday morning, up early. Some hurried grits. A vitamin and a pain killer. This is the way things start. Then C and Honey took me to Newark Penn, where I caught the Northeast Regional to Union Station and transferred to the Metro Red toward Glenmont. Much on the docket. Some minor apartment fixes on order. And some holy (and unholy) communing with friends and family. I was ready.
It began with a late afternoon feast of sauce served atop a mound of pasta, meatballs, and spicy sausage. (The heavier bits were just filler. Like any true Italian family, we were really only there for the red stuff.)
My hands are dry and cracked and bruised. When I bend the index finger of my right hand, sometimes the knuckle splits and bleeds. I think this is the way my hands should be. They are more interesting this way. They remind me that they've done things. And that they have purpose. And during morning walks, I sometimes keep my gloves in my pocket and wrap the leash around my bare hand and let my skin go numb in the bitter air to help the process along.
Right now, Honey is asleep beside me. Sometimes she barks at the things in her dreams. I wonder what these things are, and if they have names like "Daddy" and "Kong," or if her dreams are filled with monsters and ominous knocks on doors and garage doors opening. When Honey's not asleep, she's frighteningly awake. And when it's cold, she prays to a god called "The Space-Heater". She says one Hail Mary and three Our Fathers. She also farts.
My chest burns from Sambuca intake. Then it subsides. Then I wait. And I swallow again. And it burns some more. Sometimes, on a Saturday night, this is the cycle of things.