In an online role-playing game, my character is a drug addict who can see the future. Although his addiction has led him to homelessness, poor judgment, and incomprehensibility, he remains kindhearted and bears little ill will toward anyone. He was inspired by my uncle, who at forty-five, still lives with my grandparents.
My mother says things will be better when he goes to prison again. His court date has been moved back five times over the last year, but he’s finally due to be sentenced next week. Supposedly he’ll get at least ten years for robbing the gas station with a box cutter. He stole less than fifty dollars, which he spent on drugs in an attempt to overdose.
we guess the color
of new buds
On Father’s Day, I cook lunch for the family. My uncle wanders in and out of the house, yelling that he’s bored and can’t find B, his cat. He’s shaved his head and face, and there’s still blood on his chin and neck. Unable to tell if he’s high or simply manic, I stir the pasta. After another trip into the garage, he stops by the stove: “I’m going to miss B when I go to jail. You think they’ll let [Ma] bring him in for a visit? Like on a leash or something.”
Although I doubt it, I tell him I don’t know, and my uncle traipses away. Meanwhile, my grandmother helps my grandfather. His walker creeps from the carpet to linoleum and takes up most of the hallway. My uncle yells at my grandparents by their first names, then squeezes past them to go upstairs.
My character would never do this.
russian sage . . .
my fishing line drags
across the clouds