Just found this in an old file of my own. A school assignment, maybe a prose poem. Wow. Takes me back.
Mary Beth Tweardy
February 21, 2013
He sure does like his coffee, the blacker the better. A fresh pot in the afternoons at his office, adding more dark grounds to the damp mound in the filter. There goes that bug, shirking behind the file cabinet. So many files. He knows that page is here, but not what folder it’s in. Paper cuts burn every time he washes his hands. He washes often because occasionally he can see a tiny mouse skittering away when he snaps the light-switch in the morning. Lunch is always out: Alfonso’s, where the waitress knows his favorites. Lately, the pasta is sticky. He never preferred thinner noodles and this is why. The ends become gummy, clumps of sauce and cheese but who can tell what he’s eating anymore or what file it is in. He can’t wash his hands when it feels like his gloves are on, but at least he can shift the stick in the Subaru which sits, stalled. Since the pasta isn’t as good anymore, he eats cauliflower, the steamed head yielding to the fork’s tremors. They pour a non-dairy creamer pod in his coffee, and he shoots it like Drambuie. Someone asks about pudding? Or marshmallows? So he gropes for a file – found it! “Pillow,” he answers.