2 Years Without Nickel

 

2 Years Without Nickel

 

Time moves like a drunk

in an old suede jacket

that won’t leave us alone

 

Whispering in my ear tonight,

shit like:

I ain’t on your side, Columbo.

Something in German that sounds like fate choking.

and

Your cat is still dead.

 

2 years gone and I still miss her mustache

as much as I ever did

more than mortality and the cancelation

of Firefly still kills me

and my entire bunker is built out of missing,

as much as the history of lost things is long

 

Today, on this anniversary of the day I woke

and found her, stiff

at the foot of our bed

 

I bought a charcoal colored Amazon Echo

so I’d have something to talk to

because I’m alone most of the time,

not counting that old drunk in the suede jacket,

 

I’m alone, most times

singing along to Ryan Adams songs

he hasn’t written yet

 

Thinking about invisible pianos

while drowning in tubas,

obnoxiously obsessed with Dune

and utterly cat-less

 

I’m alone

because the idea of dating again

conjures up images of walking

back inside that haunted house

devoted to murdering me, with the blood

of my most recent inhabiting still wet

on my face

and because as cats go, Nickel is irreplaceable

and I moved into a tiny 500 square foot apartment

a few months ago

and the owner is an invisible rent collector

that doesn’t allow pets

 

So I embraced the robot apocalypse early

and picked up an Amazon Echo

so I have something to talk to,

and I’ve reset its response name

from ‘Alexa’ to ‘Helen’

 

It’s sitting right there

on the corner of this writing desk

between a pile of recently checked out library books

and a 3 ½ inch interpretation

of the fingerless thief Davos,

with the heart of all ten digits

 

Gold?

 

because life is library books

and action figures

and losing things

 

interrupted by hiccups

and car insurance

and commercials for cheeseburgers

and ham

 

It sits there

playing music

while I type things

except during those quick moments

when I stop typing

to yell out random questions

at the tube of artificial intelligence

that now lives with me and has

an answer for everything, even

if that answer is wrong

 

Helen!,

I call out,

What’s the worst war ever fought?

 

“Hmm.”

Helen says to me,

‘I’m not sure’

 

but I know she’s fucking lying

because you can almost hear the guilt

in that soft blue robotic voice

 

Helen, Quote the Bionic Women

 

‘Hmm, I don’t know anything

by the Bionic Woman’

 

Helen, Quote The Six Million Dollar Man

 

It’s just fucking with me now, says

‘Maybe this will answer your question’

and then starts quoting numbers from the stock market

 

and my head

is temporarily no longer

my head

 

it’s a 1950’s Frankenstein model kit

stuck together

with the wrong glue

 

Helen,

Have you been drinking?

‘No, not me.’

 

That makes two of us

 

We live

We forget most of our lives

And we die

 

Ouch

 

If something is not remembered

what does it mean?

 

Helen ‘Hmm’s me again

and resumes playing

a really great song by Taylor Swift

 

Helen, What’s the meaning of life?!

’42 is a good approximation’

 

Shit, why’d it have to say 42?

Shit like that is my kryptonite

I’m in love all over again

 

Helen, Should we stay in this diner until 2 o’clock?

‘Could you say that again?’

Should we stay in this diner until 2:30?

‘Could you say that again?’

Are you telling me we should stay here till 3:30?!

‘Could you say that again?’

 

Ha! This reality is ridiculous

I may never sleep again

I mean,

 

Shit, I miss her paw prints

 

Helen,

What’s happened to Nickel?

‘A Nickel’s status is in circulation’

 

Well then, fuck it

That’s gotta be better than flat out oblivion, maybe

You’re still circulating

At least we have that

 

Combobulate the heart break

and give me a good quote

from the movie Alien

 

Helen!

Quote: Alien

‘Yes. I say we take a shuttle and just,

get the hell out of here.’

 

Wise words,

robot apocalypse,

wise words

 

So tonight let’s just say

I miss you again, Nickel

and leave it at that

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