You’re waiting on a friend to call.
The fan spins warm evening air as you watch the baby geckos so tiny, miniature
and now you have made friends you like them you talk to them you whisper at them.
You are proud you have found an amicable truce.
There are the outdoor geckos and the ‘picture frame geckos’ who live, wittily enough, behind picture frames only to emerge at night to munch distracted bugs.
You wait to talk to your old friend. It’s the least you can do.
He was there for you whenever you called.
When your husband walked he showed up,
‘I want to try!’ you wept, crumpled and he helped you with whatever you asked. Moved your stuff here and there, carried and lugged and handed you tissues. When you said you didn’t want to try anymore he changed your locks for you. He was never farther than a call away, ‘Say the word,’ he’d offer, ‘Just say word,’ and you’d laugh and wipe your face.
Now his wife has died. As young as him but gone to cancer aka bad luck. She might have lasted longer if she hadn’t given in to bouts of drink but how much longer no one knows. Enough to make it worthwhile denying herself earthly pleasures? Tough call. Last call.
Whenever it came for her he would be left all alone.
You could let him rattle on, drown himself out, wear himself down, cry himself to sleep. You should. Instead you can’t help but interrupt and try and steer him out the rut, heave him back over the cliff toward the light of laughter.
Because you are a clown and it’s what you know. Make ‘em laugh, they’ll feel better. Pacing and blathering until you see on the kitchen floor a baby gecko is akimbo lifeless.
‘I killed him!’ You scream, ‘I’m going to vomit.’
‘Relax!’ and now your friend with the dead wife is consoling you, and he’s making you laugh.