- Listening to North in the Morning, and: Patrons
Listening to North in the Morning
I know it's a frittata because last nightwe dumpstered a shit ton of eggsand I can hear the tap, tap, tappingon the lip of a bowl. I count the cracksand smile at eighteen because he's breakingthe record. Shuffle of socks on the floor.A suction gives way to a low whirand I know he's in the fridge. Butterand cheese for sure, but what elseis he rummaging for? Five tripsto the counter before the door sucks shut.Chopping. Scraping. More Chopping.The sizzle of the pan reaches mebefore the scent of garlic does.I like listening to him get reckless,even though half of everything is mineand I'd never waste so much on onemeal. Isn't that the secret indulgenceof friendship: being near what youcan never be? Now the unoiledback door and he's out in the garden.Rosemary. Wild onion. He's talkingto someone, but who? His laughteris strong this early in the morning.Now back in the kitchen making a hardpatter of something: Did he findthat dark roast I hid in the bottomdrawer? Weirdly, I hope he did. [End Page 325]
Bakery to Produce, Produce to Meats,Meats to Frozen Treats. We carriedno wallets, pushed no carts. Around usthe afternoon rush squealedungreased wheels across newlywaxed floors, weighing actual desiresagainst two-for-one deals. Calmed bythe knowledge that we weren't thereto buy or steal, we scopedthe sell-by dates for what wasabout to expire, hoping to find it allin the dumpster that night.I bet those are dope, North said,pointing at yogurt cups on the vergeof outrunning their shelf life.And these, I said, nodding to the capersthat were proving too upscalefor this place. It was the basis of our lifetogether: looking at the worldthrough glass, baffled by how muchwe might get to taste. Halfwaydown aisle five a lady mistook usfor clerks. But who were weto care? We knew where they stockedwhat she was looking for. [End Page 326]
Anders Carlson-Wee is the author of The Low Passions. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and Virginia Quarterly Review. He is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry International Prize.