Thursday, March 18, 2010

close call

i woke up today unsettled. not for any particular reason, at least not one thats front and center on my mind, but unsettled nonetheless. there was something wrong, some invisible defect to the day. i was groggy and i made my coffee and i let the feeling linger and spread in me, hoping it would reveal some origin that i could then untangle. but it didnt.

so i sat at the computer and my eyes were half open and i checked my email and said hi to people online. the sensation was still in me, like a slow acting poison, but i tried to ignore it, hoping it would pass. i made as if the day was just as pleasant as it appeared. the sky clear and blue and cloudless. the sun charming the streets with a delicate warm. i sipped my coffee. i smoked a cigarette. the feeling stayed. i wondered why.

in an attempt to produce something of the day i decided to do some homework. my head was still filled in the hanging smoke of long nights past. i sipped more coffee. i wondered what was wrong. i searched for my backpack.

i searched for my backpack.

i searched for my backpack.

i couldnt find it.

the feeling inside began to gel, to coagulate into something real, something you could touch. i let the panic lurk in the deeper distances of me. my backpack had to be somewhere. i look under the couch. under the bed. in closets. everywhere i know it isnt. my house is not that large. you can not hide many things in my house.

i couldnt find it. i sat and let my mind go over the recent history of my week. i was here with it i was there with it i walked everywhere with it i felt it on my shoulders still. i rarely go anywhere without it. where could it be?

i call a friend maybe i left it at their house. i know i didnt but i still call. then i think more. harder. slowly and more deliberately.

the bar. i was at a bar. i was drinking tall pints of high alcohol content beer that came in strange shaped glasses that make it seem as if youre a scientist celebrating a great discovery. i had a few shots of whiskey and i put it all on my credit card. i was smiling and my nerves were faint shadows on the day. i felt good. i had my backpack on the floor. i had my elbows on the bar. i had another shot before i left. i tipped the bartender well. i always do.

its been two days since. i hadnt wore my backpack yesterday because i didnt plan on doing work and i wanted to hear the sounds of the city, the buzz of the subway, the din of traffic, so i didnt wear my ipod.

it must be at the bar. it has to be.

i call them. no answer. i call again. no answer.

i do chores around the house and the poison is spreading in me. a slow acting virus climbing up towards my throat. i call the bar again. no answer. i never lose my backpack. ever. its part of me. it holds everything i hold. physically and metaphysically. it holds my hopes and my hopes are on the sheets of paper that are in my backpack. what am i without my hopes.

i try the bar again. someone answers.

"hi, i think i left a backpack there on tuesday nigh-"

"what color is it?"

"its dark black and gray, its a swiss army backp-"

"yeah, we got it. its here. its safe."

"thank you god. thank you god."

for that, i drink a beer. i sigh a sigh i will remember for years to come.


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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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