Downstairs in the Fridge
A golf day shouldn’t end in tragedy, Alex.
It just shouldn’t.
Fancy the three of us,
Sammy P., Carlos, and me,
eating Philly steaks and drinking
pitchers of beer at your
friendly neighborhood Hooters restaurant,
but Teri was hosting rock and roll trivia,
and you know what a sucker I am for
rock and roll trivia.
Plus, I was hoping that you would stop by,
and we could talk.
We were holding our own when you walked in.
You were standing at the end of the bar
when I saw you.
I hit Carlos and said,
“Do you see that guy down there?”
and to his affirmative response
“That’s Alex. Everybody else hates Alex,
but I love Alex.”
I’m sorry that I said that, Al,
but I thank God that I did.
You made your way to our table, and
you had a beer with us.
You knew that The Doors was
the answer to one of the questions.
“Teri,” you said, “with her
it has to be The Doors.”
You were right.
You were so excited because
you were about to meet this woman,
a fix up, whom you’d been supposed to meet
for a few months.
You had a frozen burrito shaped package
of oriental seasoning,
a solid that would cook down into a rue,
in your hand. It was for the lady
who was introducing you to this woman.
You asked us to watch the seasoning for you,
that you’d be back shortly,
and you were gone.
Things like that just don’t happen, Alex,
that a man walks out of a Hooters restaurant and gets
plowed down by a two-tone brown, full-sized
Chevy Econoline van.
At least they don’t happen in my life, Alex,
at least they didn’t.
Your head lay a couple of feet from
the curb, just below me.
The ambulance attendants asked you for
your phone number, which you gave.
You handed your keys and your wishing stone to Teri.
Carlos asked me if I wanted to
say anything to you,
but I didn’t,
I knew I could tell you later.
I guess that Carlos’s objectivity
allowed him a more realistic view of the situation
than the one that I possessed.
They picked you up, and
you were broken in half.
You bowed like a banana.
Later, I bought Dave some beers for
cleaning the raspberry-colored
spinal fluid from McCorkle Avenue.
You were dead by the time
They got you to the hospital.
More than two years have passed, and
I just now found a pen
that could write these words.
I’m sorry, Al.
I miss you, brother.
I’ll be along directly.
Your seasoning package is
downstairs in the fridge.
I’d bring it, but
The Book tells me that
only the souls can make the pass.