The woman I love has turned her back on me. Why each time I look for her when I wake, why I wait for her in the evening, to share a drink after work and she isn’t there, I don’t know.
I never treated her good enough to be here still.
The years will pass. There will, inevitably be, others to visit her bed. And other beds that she will visit, after mine. But one day, maybe a decade, maybe more. Maybe less. She will hear of my passing. And only then, will she cry to hold my hand again. Kiss my mouth and to fall asleep, drunk and happy on my couch, again. I hope that I go before she. My heart could not stand to know that my decrepit soul lived on beyond her bright and lovely self.
It was after 7pm tonight when I arrived back at my apartment. That damned old cat was there. Waiting. Hungry. And outlasting my sweet angel’s love.
I must keep what I’ve got. I shot down 3 or 4 drinks before I shuffled out to the corner store to pick up cat food.
The world changes by the day, by the hour. Now I must choose at the register to pay for a bag to carry the items I’ve paid for. I opted not to give up the 20 cents to hold the 3 pound bag of dry cat food.
I walked through the streets of Pomona like an insane person, slightly drunk, hungry and toting a bag of cat food at 8 in the evening. Across the busy boulevard I stomped toward the Del Taco parking lot. I brushed into the dinning room. Outside, the cars lined up in the drive-thru.
Behind the counter was a thin, but strangely adorable Armenian girl. She was the master of her world. And a misfit among her race. An outcast throughout high school. Ignored by most males. But her beauty did not escape me. I know a diamond in the rough, as they say.
I set the bag of cat food on her counter. The little Armenian wore a headset to take orders from the drive-thru. Her thick, black and bushy hair struggled to escape her Del Taco visor. She had eyes dark as a dream that cannot be recalled in the haze of the morning after. She studied the bag of cat food in front of her as she took my order. Her small and pale fingers pounded at the keyboard, $5.76 please.
I handed her my money card. I told her that I thought that she was cute. She scrunched up her small and thin lips. Her face turned red and she reminded me of the first time I’d met the woman that has since left me to be drunk alone.
The little Armenian girl scooped my fries from the salting bin and shook them down into the paper french fry bag. Wrapped my tacos and set in all carefully into a larger bag.
Even though I was standing right in front of her, she called out my number, “Number 13, please!” But she wouldn’t make eye contact with me as I claimed my order and my cat food.
I’d made it home. Poured out the cat’s dinner and unwrapped my own. I lost count of the drinks that I had.
Thank God for my bottle. If not losing count of the drinks, I might never lose count of the hundreds of times I’d broken my love’s heart.