sweepSince Moving Back In

by Travis Roberts

I shit or jerk off, whichever’s easier. I drink the coffee until it’s gone and empty the spent grounds into a small trash bin beneath the kitchen sink. I fill the back of the small coffee pot with bottled water, pat fresh grounds into the reusable filter.

I wash last night’s dishes. Plastic plates with old spaghetti, bowls with dried thousand island and bits of tomato and cucumber. I use either too much soap or not enough, but when it’s over, last night is clean and stacked inside the cupboard.

I collect the garbage from the bathroom and mix it with the garbage in the kitchen and when both are one and tied at the top I walk to the landing of the 9th floor elevator and blend ours with the rest.

Back in the apartment I listen to John Prine sing about friends and Washington, D.C. and all the times in the ’60s and ’70s when he was smiling and sad. I smoke a finger pinch of brown weed and laugh along with the crowd. It’s a live album.

I’m reminded that I need to fix the internet and find a job. Rent is due on the 12th and I am still not Bukowski or Miller or Thompson. This last part is underlined four times.

I do three sets of 20 push ups. Check the bathroom mirror to see if I’m still losing hair. I light a stick of incense, swallow fish oil and a daily multivitamin.

From the window above our bed I look downstairs. People are crossing the street and walking through doors and waving over taxis, looking down or ahead and stopping occasionally to talk about things. But now it’s 9 a.m. and I still haven’t swept the floor.


Travis Roberts is sitting at a wooden desk in Thailand and the Brit behind him is talking Indian food. He’ll attend another meeting in less than five minutes.
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