It’s late. Sam is asleep. I have time to think. I wish the reverse were true. Then I’m asleep. I don’t have to worry about what Sam doesn’t see. Sam has time to keep to himself and just understand that there’s nothing we can do. A swap.
A couch for a bed, too.
I wonder what else I could swap. Trade any day here for a life somewhere else. Not Box Elder, flat and yawning. Certainly not that cut-and-paste house in the suburbs.
A city with dark nights and towers, maybe. Not a sweatshirt. A waterproof coat. Not pajamas. Overalls and a nice shirt and a tie. Not thick walls and sticky doors. An office with opaque glass. Not me. A PI, with half of a lung and less of a liver, walking out of the rain to mull over what he sees. Rain and an easy answer.
That’s only an image on a screen, I know. And I don’t like the cold that much.
But those guys always find the answer, don’t they? A muddy footprint. A snag of fabric from a jacket. A spare key for the door that’s always open. Not a flood that comes and goes from nowhere. Not a roommate who makes up a flood and covers it up. (What is he hiding?) Not a roommate who stays in one place. Not me, who can’t stay awake long enough to enjoy the tea he makes and say sorry.
Trade me for someone who does what he says he will. Everything black and white.
There are blackberry shrubs on the bank of the river. Sam doesn’t know about that. He didn’t go with me. I can stay out of his way. I’ll make sure he’s out of mine. I might pick some berries and make a jam. I don’t mind the thorns.
I would trade Sam for a good blackberry jam. Blackberry jam doesn’t hurt.
Sam is not asleep. I hear him walking around. Back and forth.
You know that feeling, don’t you? Knowing where someone is but not exactly. You can’t see them. Your ears don’t quite catch their movement. They’re around, but they don’t show up. You can’t reach out, shake them awake. You don’t entirely know you’re awake yourself.
But I’m here. And so is Sam.
I don’t want whatever attention they mistake onto me.
All you can do is listen.
That said, any advice you have would be great.