November 7th, 2021

caillebotte_man at his window

Reset Thirty-Five, Day Twenty-Six

Something went amiss, and nobody was able to fetch groceries for me Saturday. The evening wore on, wore out, and I opened a packet of tuna and ate it for dinner with some crackers and pepperoncini. The air chilled and the traffic on the freeway died down, and autumnal quiet prevailed. Not even a flock of waterfowl. Not even wind. Only a cold stillness. The clocks connected to the Internet of Things grabbed back that hour they let go last spring. I might have imagined an entire life in that hour.

Instead I remembered fragments of this one, or more likely misremembered them. Which of the November nights 58 years ago was the one when we paid the bum on Fifth Street to buy us a bottle of rum? Could this have been the anniversary? Which was the night we first went to the coffee house in a converted bungalow on Cole Avenue in the nondescript neighborhood between Hollywood and Hancock Park? Or could this be the anniversary of the night a torrential rainstorm disrupted our plans to go to an event in Long Beach and instead we spent a few hours in my room listening to records and talking and writing bad poetry?

The paper journals that burned three years ago Monday might have given me some clues, though they were not exhaustive. Without that evidence, I might as well have imagined this life. I have no proof. The only events I can pin to a date are those that are connected to holidays or to the assassination, and even those have grown vague. Time can wear away the details of life like the ocean's churn turning a piece of wood into something recognizable but strange. And now I feel as though I've been lying on a beach, being bleached and cracked by the sun for years.

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