Monday, January 24, 2005

1:48 AM

Wilson called me late in the afternoon and asked if I wanted to watch the game with him. He ended up inviting himself over again, this time bringing sandwiches and beer. He was all excited about the Patriots so I thought I might cheer for the Steelers just to be difficult. I didn't ask why we weren't at his place.

You know, I should send a bill to the Patriots.

After the game he hung around a while before he headed home. After he'd left I paced around the apartment for a bit -- I wasn't sleepy -- and thought of the books I got last week. Maybe I'd check out the Yeats; I'd been wanting to read more of it since that Wilson's disease case. Palermo, that's it. It impressed me how into it she was even when she was most delusional.

I had to search around in the stacks on top of the piano, but I finally found them. They were still in the bag from the bookstore. Suddenly I remembered being in the cafe last week: sipping my coffee, gnawing on that dog-treat-cookie-thing, flipping through the magazine, the bag on the table in front of me, the couple passing in back of me -- remembering -- remembering what?

Suddenly I didn't want to read any more. I stood there with my hand on my neck, thinking, and finally slid myself behind the piano and started to play, just picking out a few notes at first, and then playing from memory, a snatch here, a snatch there, mostly pieces I'd mastered when I was a kid. I found myself playing another Bach prelude when I thought of the bookstore again, of the couple -- the woman passing behind me. She'd just had her hair done, I could smell the shampoo and the styling goo and the hairspray; she also might have gotten a couple of perfume samples while she was at the mall.

And then I remembered. Embracing a woman. Her head on my shoulder, the scent of her hair next to my face, the whiff of her perfume. Her silk jacket crumpling against the thin cotton of my hospital gown.

Seven years ago.

Oh, God, seven years ago.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell are you? This is ridiculous.

January 11, 2009 10:24 PM  

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