New Bed, Same City

Ma bought me a futon. It’s twice as wide as the bed I’ve been sleeping on most of my life. So now I need to get rid of that old twin bed. But it’s a spare surface. For stuff. For piles of stuff. Yes, technically, the floor is a surface, too. So, what I mean is, the bed is a good raised surface. For stuff. For piles of stuff. Not that I have much stuff or many piles of it. But piles tend to multiply like gremlins in water. Just ask StepDude. Three rooms of the house he shares with Ma are crammed with pillars of magazines and manuscripts and thick newspapers. 

My new futon, like many futons, folds into a sofa. But I’ll have to take all the sheets off when I have company. Well, I guess I don’t have to, but it would be the hygienic thing to do. Or, maybe I just won’t have company. Should I change the pants I’ve worn all day before sitting on it? Nah. It’s not like I spend my days seated upon filthy surfaces. [Assuming I don’t venture onto a CTA bus or "L" train.] Rather, I spend most of my days on my feet.

 *  *  * 

I was walking home late last night, sipping on a chocolate malt, when a woman (presumably homeless) greeted me outside of my apartment building. I politely nodded and nearly turned to enter when she said, “You don’t recognize me, do you? You don’t remember me!”

[How did I reply? Perhaps I didn’t. These days, whenever I cross paths with a nutter or a panhandler, I’ll shake my head without uttering a word and continue on.] 

Following that, she kept repeating that her mother had died. 

Since I didn’t want her to block my path, or follow me in, I continued my stroll up the sidewalk. But perhaps I should’ve offered her the rest of my chocolate malt. Surely that would’ve cheered her up. 

26 April 2000

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