I’d managed even to trash out of the low life I’d embraced by force of habitual descent. Back to enforced roommates and urinalysis. There was a job at an imitation French joint but all they knew about was over priced wine and barely experimental plating. Flavor and the sensory overhaul you get from a meal somewhere special, those things had leaked out from the tin ceiling that held in the inane chatter for ambience. The old man couldn’t take it. Blood pressure danced in his eardrums.
He’s gone now, but that first year out of the garbage heap, he gave me an old L.L. Bean coat because winter was coming. He didn’t want to hear about love or thanks. Just here’s the coat, it’s going to get cold. I still don’t know how you do that particular manly form of expression.
A few years later, a friend from college reached out and I was smart enough to engage with him. It proved a wise decision. Thanks Sean.
It was a year of lasts. Wills, testaments, friends free of prison gone again for good. It was only this last last that happened without shock. Just the shimmering lights from over the years and a rusty patina rent into a nice blue Cadillac. Here and then nothing. There and then all.
by Hank Cherry