sounds outside my apartment window in Covington have some along with
the warmer weather. I often hear stray cats howling or even fighting
early in the mornings. One recent morning in particular, they woke me
up at five o’clock. It
was a day I wasn’t really looking forward to.
I ever see Charlene again, I have a few questions I’d like to ask.
Whether I actually ask them is anybody’s guess. I
noticed her about a year ago. I was living in Westwood and had gotten
a ride to downtown Cincinnati to catch a T.A.N.K. bus to Kentucky. We
were waiting at the same bus stop at Fourth and Main. It was a cold
winter morning. Awaiting different buses, we sat on the same bench.
She kept looking at me and maybe I was looking at her, too.
had been more than 20 years since I’ve had to deal with a mouse in
my living space. Nevermind the fact I was born and raised on a farm
where I’ve seen mice in barns and even in houses. It’s been a
long time since I’ve been a country boy, and having this rodent in
my living quarters freaked me out.
long, skinny fingers except when I go Christmas shopping. Once I’m in a
store listening to Christmas music and hearing all that holiday cheer,
my fingers swell up. This has been happening since the 1980’s. My
fingers are no longer fingers. They’re long, fat sausages that are tired
of picking up stuff and trying to decide what to buy somebody.
I arrived a little too early for the
meeting. Having a vodka and tonic at the Backstage Café in Covington, I
was waiting for my editor to show up. It’s never a good thing when your
editor wants to talk about your column and “the future.” I kind of knew
the kind of future he wanted to discuss.
The young guy sitting on the bench to my
left was high on something. He kept mentioning how he got caught
“getting it on” by the girl’s boyfriend. “He went out to his truck to get a gun,” the guy said. “I got out of there quick, man, hightailed it.” I nodded my head at him as he spit on the sidewalk. He spit a lot.
It took three buses for me to reach her apartment in
Colerain Township, but I was on a mission. I was determined to get a
piece of my property back. Walking up to her apartment door, I had purpose. I would be polite but I’d be direct. I wanted the damn book back.
I felt tired walking up to Walgreens on a Tuesday morning
in Covington. The night before, a barking dog kept me up until 2 in the
morning. It was a vicious bark with practically no letup. I couldn’t
figure it out. All around me are apartment buildings. Why would a dog be
kept outside all night?
This time of year, I tend to look out my
window at the changing season. I notice that the leaves are starting to
fall from the trees and there’s coolness in the air most mornings.
Summer is almost gone and it’s time to prepare myself for the chilly
winter season that will come much too soon.
Anna called me one night around 9
o’clock. I knew she was calling me from a bar, could hear the jukebox in
the background, could hear a Country song playing, which was almost
louder than Anna. She was slurring her words when she asked me to join
her. I couldn’t that night, but I agreed to meet her the following week.