• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 09

Have You Seen?

Excuse me, I don’t mean to bother you, but since you’re stuck in traffic. I’m looking for someone. He’s not much taller than I am, wears a cap, walks with a slight limp, wears a ratty old brown sweater, greenish corduroys, wears glasses. I got up this morning and made the coffee, as usual. We used to have a dog, found him on vacation one year. Can you imagine? First time in the islands, and this pup, just a wee thing, all paws, eyes, and ears. Knew he’d grow up large. Living under the bungalow, mostly skin and bones at the time. We couldn’t get rid of him. Not that we tried much. Something about large brown eyes staring at you, just tears into the soft jelly parts of your soul, don’t they? My Henry would take Pip out in the morning, let me sleep in a bit. That was our routine. I think he liked the walk. Though he would complain on days like this. But a bit of rain wouldn’t stop my Henry on his rounds through the neighborhood. Knew every terrier, poodle, chihuahua, and all the labs and goldens and whatever combinations they turn out nowadays. Makes me marvel, you know? What gets into someone’s head to cross one designer dog with another? I prefer mutts, myself. I think our Pip was a mutt, a bit of this and a bit of that. Sort of the way, I cook. I never have left overs that don’t get mashed in with other bits of things in the cabinet or the fridge. Tastes are like magnets—they draw in the savory and the tart, the sweet with the sour, and just add a pinch of salt and cayenne and it’s another thing altogether. I don’t cook much anymore. Appetite isn’t what it used to be and cooking for one person… What was I saying? I got a bit off track. I’ve been looking everywhere for… What’s the name of this street? Isn’t this Maple? No? Oh, I could swear this was Maple. We used to live right around the corner from Maple and Seventh Avenue. But that was when we had… Well, so… have you seen an older man, about my age, a slight limp, a kind face, eyes always smiling. Hazel, they were. Something about hazel eyes…