08 April 2008

I don't know. Sometimes when I feel myself sinking I search for lower. When I start to feel trivial and meaningless I'll read the obituaries. Maybe subconsciously I am searching for someone worse off than me, someone who's dead perhaps? Maybe so, I don't really know. I don't want to ruin flowers for anyone but if you love the smell of roses; if you still think roses are beautiful then you've never been to a funeral. The smell of too many flowers suffocates me and brings me back to one too many cigarette breaks outside those stifling funeral parlors on hazy summer afternoons and those few dreary days in March.

I can still smell the cherries on the roof of Poppa's shed. They'd picked themselves and fallen off the tree. He'd wrap the trees in foil for the winter. Mason jars of homemade marinara lined both sides of the musty concrete staircase. I loved the clean fresh smell of wet dirt. Old icebox fridge filled with ice cold cans of Schaefer's. Stories unfold about a guy stung by a bee once while sipping a beer at a barbecue as Poppa passes Cosmo the bottle of anisette through a hole in the fence.

I'm on the roof of the shed with a bag collecting cherries. Most of them never make it into the bag we just eat them and laugh. I can still smell the air. I can still see the Wonder Wheel from that Windsor Terrace kitchen window. The gentle clamor of the ice cubes in Grandpa's iced espresso and Phil Rizzuto's "Holy Cow!". Couches covered in plastic and water on the boil for pasta. That steam sizzle when the blue flame squelches orange. I can smell the salt in the water and sweet basil on the windowsill as a July breeze billows through orange and green patterned curtains. Refrigerator yellow rotary wall phone with that three-hundred foot corkscrew cord so everyone can talk to Aunt Molly before dinner. We passed the phone around like butter for the semolina. On Easter we'd walk through the house with the giant cross blessing each room. Sometimes we'd rush the ceremony because everyone was hungry.

And now all the chairs at the trading desk are pushed in tight, neat and clean. The desks are bare. I see less and less topcoats in the closet everyday and it's not because it's warm out. I see her standing there with pensive feet pacing in place. She has a paper towel balled up inside her left fist. Scrunched up like a little girl and her blanket or her favourite doll. I'm laying there dreaming about her even though she's lying right next to me wishing we were back on that roof picking cherries and laughing like carefree children barefoot in July.

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