I put on clean underwear. I made certain there was no odd stain on it, either. I have all these white midi briefs that are discoloured for some reason – but I sure haven’t soiled them. At any rate, it won’t wash out. So I chose blue.
It was too hot out for pants, so I decided to wear shorts and a short-sleeved button-up shirt. A white one. It felt better in the slight breeze than a t-shirt.
Other than the heat, the weather was good. I took a bottle of water in case it got too hot on my walk. I figured a nice, leisurely stroll would get me there in about twenty-five minutes.
I passed Pam’s house first. I could see nothing through the windows – the curtains were closed. The back of the house, I knew, had Venetian blinds. I wondered how many houses in Venice had such blinds – if it was a requirement. And I pictured the people in those houses peeking between the slats at the ridiculous tourists drifting past.
She had such blinds in her bedroom. That room smelled vaguely of dust but she smelled much better,
I continued walking.
The store I passed next was where I first found Ugly Boxer magazine. Now, you may think that would be a boxing magazine, but it was actually a magazine of stories for teenage girls. Given that name, I am still amazed its run was anywhere near a dozen issues.
It went bankrupt after 13 issues. Lucky 13.
I was born on the 22nd of July, in 1956. I think that was probably a bastard of a hot day. It’s now the 23rd of July, 2013. And it’s almost as hot.
Nothing can match the heat of my imagination.
The house I passed next was where Joe used to live. He moved after his wife died. Sold the house, sold the car, moved into a home with a bunch of other old men. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead. In spite of spending every second Tuesday with him, I haven’t seen him since he moved.
We played in the same bowling league.
I am not a good bowler. I was born with one leg shorter than the other (it explains my slight tilt as I walk down the street). I tend to trip over my right foot.
The park in this neighbourhood was beautiful back in the old days. That would be when I was young. And I took Shelly there in the fall. It was still not too cold so we took our clothes off and made out in one of the more secluded areas. Nothing but fucking perverts in there now, though.
Once out of the park, I grew aware of the hunger again. No food, no food. I had eaten nothing since Friday. Water and coffee. Sleeping was hard. This walk is hard, I told myself.
Taking a left off the street, I went the way the bigger trucks go and ended up on the major thoroughfare. The noise is always tremendous there.
I remember days when the air smelled better. Not cleaner – that’s stupid. People think such stupid things. I mean better, maybe more real.
I found what I was looking for.