I’m always amazed to see so many people having animated conversations on cell phones during the early morning commute, not because they shouldn’t be driving with their cell phones raised to their ears, but because I can’t fathom why somebody would want to talk to another human being that early in the day.
Me: “Jesus Christ, what are you doing? Go around my leg.”
Jess: “I have to…I have to…I have to…”
Me: “You have to what? Can I help you with something?” I clicked my reading light on.
Jess: “I have to slice.”
Me: “You have to what?!”
Jess: “I have to slice.”
Hoping she was talking about the soda or a bad golf swing and not the result of a knife sinking into husband meat, I watched as she stumbled out of bed, walked out of the bedroom, flicked the light on in the guest bedroom and stood in the doorway for a good ten seconds, staring into some strange world separated from ours by the veil of sleep.
Me: “Do you need something in there, babe?”
“That’s some kinda limp you got there.”
I was walking (or at least doing my best impersonation of walking) down a wood paneled corridor to my physical therapy appointment this morning when an old man heading in the opposite direction noticed I wasn’t operating at 100%. He wore Velcro sneakers, sweatpants and a dark sweatshirt under a winter jacket. The dry skin under his grey stubble sifted down to the neck of his sweatshirt and clung there like a dusting of Parmesan cheese on a black dinner plate. He used one hand to hold the corridor wall for support, while the other one gripped an adjustable cane with four non-slip rubber nubs on the bottom of it for added support. He was easily in his late eighties, and every movement he made was so slow and weighted that it seemed like he was walking underwater.
When they came back, Dad promised I could help make it. I wasn’t a fan of carrot cake (I was and still am a loyal Funfetti man), but he knew I really liked working in the kitchen with him, so I was excited about it anyway.
“It says ‘stir by hand’” I loudly proclaimed from the red milk crate Dad dragged out so I could reach the kitchen counter, reading the instructions from the back of the box as if they would be utterly lost without them.
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Michael Albert Boulerice was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 16th, 1980. A few months after, he moved to coastal New Hampshire, where Michael has spent the bulk of his life living ever since.
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