#61 There, there

by Lawrence Witt

You were drifting away and I was tucked against the wall, a corner bracket. It’s difficult to get comfortable fully clothed but we managed most nights. In short, I couldn’t move, and all the drink had pooled up in my abdomen. The only way I knew to sleep was hearing stories, animating internally, to trail off, passing the narrative baton. That’s the stuff of dreams. I told myself some stories in the hope I’d make it, wordlessly of course.

The get together sprung to mind, or lingered, so I went there first. Lisa’s gaudy assemblage of close friends and Halloween decorations. Watching you at ease from outside the kitchen window, whilst drawing alternately on a hip-flask and cigarette. I decide that right now I’m telling them how we almost never met. Oh, and it’s the summer solstice. Everyone is sitting around a campfire in the afterglow of an unending sunset, light dipping through a trough behind the low hills.

Maybe we could share a teepee?

Poppy bounds in during the early hours and licks us both awake—I haven’t seen that mutt for years. I knew you’d like her. There’s a sherpa calling “Tea Please” from outside the tent flap and you take two sugars. Tobogganing down Everest, we count the flashing alpine trees in unison.

At the bottom my postman hands me back the hip-flask, his putty face bubbling. It’s promising because I didn’t ask for it. Somewhere overhead a tired hand is resting on Orion’s waist.

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