Homesick

The taste of salt and toasted sesame seeds on hot rice is heavenly as the steam wafts the smell up to my nostrils and fogs my glasses up. I feel the moisture on my skin from the heat and I salivate. Suddenly I am young again, sitting on the tatami mats at the table; my chopsticks eagerly awaiting my fingers on them to scoop up this simple but scrumptious meal. My mother raps at my fingers as she reminds me to wait until after we pray.

Here it’s different. The smell that slaps you across the face is the overwhelming smell of coffee, hinted later on with the nauseating smells of fast food and the occasional meat based dish. Everything too fattening and way too oily. The honks of the cars and the sounds of th people are loud and menacing; everything seems like an exaggeration of real life.

As I get on the bus I look forward to going back to bed, wrapped up in white linen sheets with the simple bowl my gomashio will make.

COFFEE

The rain keeps pouring down in light but persistent sheets, tapping against the windowpanes and dripping down on our germaniums. The scene outside seems like someone had put a filter over the garden painting it in a dull, drab gray.

The kitten seems to be the only one with life these days. Every now and then he whizzes out of his hiding place underneath our sofa to paw at a hanging plastic bag (you know, the one which we keep all the other plastic bags in) or an unsuspecting ankle. He’s gotten big enough to reach my knee when he tries. I’m sure I’ve kicked him about three times; accidentally of course.

I remember when we first got him. It was on a day like this. We found him, whining and sopping wet, hiding underneath one of our leafier plants (I can never remember the name of your plants, darling.) You wrapped him up in a towel and nursed him into this ADHD thing we have today.

I grab at the fur ball as it was streaking past me to heaven knows where. It’s a black and white, funny little thing. He tries to grab at my nose as I hold him by the flap of skin behind its neck. I drop him into my lap, cradling him like a baby while he looks at me with those yellow eyes wondering what the heck I’m doing. These days I don’t know the answer to that myself.

“We got this kitten just a month and a half ago didn’t we? He’s gotten so big he can be used as a rag now,” I laugh.

I hold him up under the armpits while he gnaws at me. He probably wants to go on another one of his adventures where he destroys our things around the house. I bop him on the nose with my own and let him be on his merry way.

I stare into my mug. The tiny bits of foam are slipping away from it, fading into nothingness. The smell wafts into my nose as the steam fogs up my glasses. I can’t see what’s in front of me anymore.

I put down the mug with a light thud and look out the window, waiting for them to un-fog rather than wiping them on my shirt.

“It’s quite cold today, isn’t it dear?”

My sight clears up as I look at the place you usually sit in, across from me in this window side table.

I miss you so much.

No one’s coming

I stare down the lamplit street, every now and then looking at my watch. I pop three peppermints to ensure my breath smells nice when the people come. My dog sleeps beside me, complacent in the cool air.

The shadows the trees cast on the pavement bring to life the beuatiful nightmares of childhood. Huge ghoulish creatures roaming the dark with their silent feet; they moan, echoing through the buildings. They lurk in every dark corner with their eyes made of flames searching for-

A black cat crossing the street caught my attention. I watch her as she pawed through the road leisurely, paying me no heed. She looked back at me just before she reached the bushes, wondering what I’ve been doing on the street in front of my house for so long.

“I’m waiting for someone.”

She blinked its eyes in comprehension and went on her merry way.

I stare at the rabbit on the moon. It’s making mochi in a big bowl.

I look at my watch again. It’s been at least a decade.

A crow landed on the post above me. He tilted his head wondering if anyone would come.

I shrugged and scratched one of my dog’s heads. The crow cawed back and started to prune his feathers.

I down three more peppermints; another decade has passed.

My phone beeps with a message from my brother; no one is coming apparently.

Another three peppermints go into my mouth, this time they’re for myself rather than for them.

I throw my flip phone into the Styx.

Someone should really release Thanatos.