My Periphery

I sang to whatever the guy with the guitar was paid to cover at the Italian deli across the street. There were no surprises, his crooning more like a murmur. No one seems to bid farewell on the Saturdays I so choose as times to amble aimlessly across the funeral home parking lot. A cop will stall now and then, nodding, then smiling, but I haven’t been stopped as I was when I did the same near the local hospital.

Girls in fishnets lean against the walls of a nightclub I only know of as a coworker mentions it every Monday. They wave and I notice there’s not a food truck with “brisket” and “pork” scrawled on a whiteboard. I eat my breakfast tacos at eight p.m. That’s how it’s always been.

I think about the clothes on top of my bed, and if I’ll fold them, or tangle the hooks of wire hangers in a needless rush because the thing I most hate doing at home is folding my clothes and tossing them in wooden dressers padded with bags from a fancy grocery store. In high school, I had two hampers. For dirty clothes and the clean. Both piles equally disheveled. I can say the same for how I look right out of bed versus hours of thought concluded with tinted lip balm.

My food is ready remarkably soon. No one laughs as I step outside. A cop on a bike watches whatever cleans our river.

Even mosquitos sleep.


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