I left the electric bill in the mailbox. Along with one of those Get to Know Your Community at Christ's Church pamphlets. One where Jesus sits holding a sheep, and oriental kids sit criss-crossed and apple-sauced at his feet. An advertisement for Great Wall Chinese food rounded out the lineup. How many trashcans must be filled?
But your letter, a mini-salvation at the sight of your name alone, came with me. My octogenarian neighbor with the heavy jowls and purple hair watched me rummage through the mail as her leashed shih tzu ****** in my yard. Good morning. A nod. No response from my neighbor like usual. She's hardly a neighbor. More like a cop that directs traffic just past her property onto mine so traffic can **** my grass. The shih tzu, though, that thing quaked as if I might give it a hard kick in the ribs. A satisfying thought.
My great pleasure dissipated when I opened your letter. Don't worry about Tim. I know he cares about you. He'd be an idiot not to. These are things I'm supposed to say. The sad truth being that Tim is a man. And like the rest of us, he's cheating on you. Probably with a thinner woman. A model that still subscribes to ****** chic. Or at least ******.
Before you take a kitchen knife to one of his neglected polos, make sure he's okay. Bizarre advice, I know. My mind only wandered when I did't feel like I was worth a million bucks. You always made me feel like two million. So, I'm sure it's something on his end.
Pour the whiskey until he opens up like one of those cashiers you make the mistake of acknowledging when they've been on the clock for five hours and still got three to go. He'll tell you about the baby he can't feed, the gonorrhea feasting on his urethra, and the titanic loan he took out from mama looming over his head. After he's said his piece, his load will lighten. The clouds will part. Fingers crossed.
The way you described his despondent behavior sounds like the lurking grey of bad luck. A black cat. I'm reminded of the time in my beat-up Cavalier when a black cat began to cross the street in front of us over on 86th and Western. Do you remember that? You have to. I cursed the bad luck. Then my curse seemed to stop the stupid beast in the middle of the lane. He looked straight at me. The headlights reflected off his eyes, and you grabbed the wheel. Turned it right into the cat. "I **** my bad luck," you said as the cat's end was confirmed with a thump. Then you said something like if they don't cross your path completely, it doesn't count. Find the bad luck before it snickers from the other side.