“Downstairs in the Fridge”–an old favorite


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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: