Here is my world, right now. I’m considering buying a new Red Sox cap. The one that I wear most often is squeezing my head. I suppose those Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski New Era commercials are working. So, I am standing in the mall. I’m alone. My girlfriend is in Maine for the weekend. The dog sleeps all day when it’s gloomy out. It’s a Saturday and the mall is packed. There are high school girls dreaming of summer and buying up new shorts, skirts, and bathing suits. The boys carry DVDs in small plastic bags. They sip from gallon sized beverages of iced coffee, milk shakes, or soda. Their hair is shaggy straw poking out from underneath flat brimmed hats and their shoes are untied and clunky. I ate a chipotle turkey sandwich from a deli in the mall parking lot and now my chest burns as I stare at the multiple versions of caps. I try one on, and then another. I look in the mirror stationed on the wall. I don’t think I want to spend $24.95.
I walk out in the corridor of the mall. Now there are dads and moms with younger kids, some of whom are crying, and some being pulled by the wrist. I buy a comedy CD and leave the mall. I’m driving my girlfriend’s car and she has mine because it runs better. Her car doesn’t have a CD player. I think about buying the paper, or going to the gym. Anything.
I drive to my apartment. At the end of the month this place will be vacant. I debate, again, going to the gym. I decide to buy coffee. I gather a few more things – books, clothing, back issues of The New Yorker. Two light bulbs are out and I will have to replace them. I don’t get coffee. Instead, I drive the twenty minutes to the house we are renting. It’s a temporary thing while I look for work and finish up my MFA thesis. I walk in, the dog looks up from his bed in the kitchen. I call him over, strap on his collar and take him outside. It starts to rain and he hates it when it rains. He does his business quickly and then pulls me back inside.
I check the house for evidence of mice. Nothing. Last night and this morning I caught two in live traps. I drove them out to a field and let them run. The first one, last night, took off as soon as I opened the trap. The second, this morning, had to be coaxed out. He waddled away from me then, half across the road, turned and ran back toward me as I leaned out of my car’s open door. Under the car and out the other side he found home in the woods.
I don’t feel like driving back to the gym. It’s almost five and it’s time for the dog to eat. I serve him his bowl and then work on my own dinner: organic chicken nuggets, green beans, and spinach.
I stretch out on the couch. My phone is in the other room and there is a book on my knees. I listen as the dog snoozes in the kitchen, small whimpers and hind legs kicking. I load the CD to my laptop but can’t find my iPod. I check the game scores. I queue up episodes of The Office I’ve missed. I think about that Red Sox cap. Think about the tickets to the game in June in the desk. I think tomorrow, yeah tomorrow, I’ll go to the gym and the Sunday paper will be at my apartment, and I’ll buy a cup of coffee before the week starts.