That Time . . .

By Larry Thacker

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. . . you burnt your lip on the coffee mug, distracted by the pretty crow eating french-fries in the parking lot, thrown out by a litterer during a conversation with a potential lover who wanted to impress with callousness, the girl who was only in the car by virtue of a blind date agreement, trusting another’s word, who hadn’t noticed the bird or the fries, her window rolled up since she was chilly, her mother’s advice unheeded as to the need for a sweater for the evening, the lights still on at home, that mother sitting, not really watching the television, wondering if the daughter will do what she did on blind dates, the worry turning to fantasizing about lost years and chances, the husband, separated from the worried wife, prone in a downtown apartment – cars passing loudly along the avenue – intently watching a rented DVD, absently murmuring on the phone with an old girlfriend, that woman, at work in the restaurant on a break where the fries originated, having just dropped some more for the giddy teenagers idling in line at the drive-thru, which is visible from the table where you sat when, instead of being in the moment of coffee and conversational enjoyment, you were entertained by a frolicking bird in the innocent evening sun in a littered parking lot – of which you blamed – mentally – for causing you to burn your lips, which would later tempt me but were ultimately kept at bay due to the pain.

– Larry Thacker