NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 22

Blanket #

I’m ending one of those nights
where I’m drunk
in places where it’s okay to be drunk
that’s when I met her

It is cold
night in San Francisco cold
in a summer that never happens
not bitter cold no biting winds
would say it is biting ice cream
where that chill goes inside your gums
but accompanied with that sweet sensation

Do you have a blanket or coat or something
she says
I can see her blonde hair
maybe she’s my age
she has a couple sheets or blankets or something
but not enough
not terrible cold out you know
not dangerous cold out maybe
but I still just have my hoodie and
I would like to be inside now
that I’ve been dropped off

Just give me a minute
I say
I’ll be right back
maybe I say that
I find this blanket
not actually a blanket
I bring it out to her
give it to her
its a fitted sheet
those ones that are hard to
get on the damn bed right
she wraps it around herself
another layer of shawl

They stole my tent
she says
my husband and his whores

someone stole all of her shit
it is not quite clear exactly
what has happened
but she doesn’t have her tent

That’s kind of fucked up
that they did that
I tell her so

there is kind of a story behind the fitted sheet
I threw up once
just a little but enough
ended up throwing away the affected bedsheets
salvaged the fitted sheet
because it didn’t get hit
but what are you going to do
you know with just a fitted sheet
so I ended up getting a new set
fitted sheet sitting in a drawer
I supposed waiting
for a fitted sheet emergency

I didn’t tell her that story
because it is a little terrible
but I cleaned it two or three times
after that story happened
before I used it to sit unused
so I guess it is okay

She asks to stay at my place
a chaste mechanism for escaping this cold
but I can’t say yes
because maybe we don’t live in that world
I’m still drunk coming down but still drunk
this is the kind of life calculus
that I had decided would not be needed
on this San Francisco night of ersatz summer

Besides I don’t have enough room
in my tiny abode
which is hardly warmer
this is a stranger
so of course there is the security concern
of some vaguely defined improbable malice
indeed this is perhaps a lot of tangling of lives
to ask of a stranger
even to keep the cold away

I say
but with words that are
as polite I can manage
I think she says something else

You can keep those sheets
I won’t need the back
try to stay warm
I say

I had those sheets since college
they held some memories
that I hope I don’t need anymore
I wave offhand to some societal obelisk
that prevents some better solution

Falling asleep
what thirty feet away from her huddling
I wished to myself
that we lived in that other world
when I awoke in the late morning
the sidewalk held
no memory of her presence


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