Saturday, February 4, 2023

I Dip the Strawberries Into the Fancy & Creamy Sauce [because I do not wish to be rude] by Jimmy Broccoli

I’m eating the last noodles from the bottom of my bowl of store-bought spaghetti (and sauce) –
and I realize I am overwhelmingly depressed 
(it has been coming on for hours) –
like, “fuck!” …
like, depressed like I didn’t think I was still capable of being –
fucking 4 years of therapy…
I shouldn’t feel like this
motherfuck – I shouldn’t feel like this…

…so I call my therapist [she’s on speed-dial]

She recommends I take a break

And, so I do

I take a cheap overnight flight to visit my old stomping grounds – 
(for a temporary change of scenery) -
..and it’s like shit, motherfucker –
I walk into my childhood home and feel violated – I feel unholy – and unclean –
and uncomfortable as fuck –
everything is so small – and I remember it so large –
I remember it so large and overwhelming – and consuming…
(I’m beginning to think this visit may be a bad idea)

Family photos in the hall closet 
(where they have always been kept and ignored) –
they are still here – yellowing and slowly disintegrating –
and I don’t care the fuck at all about them (or so I claim) – 
fucking burn them for all I fucking care – 
I shut the hall closet door with too much force –
perhaps the memories mean too much 
(I probably should leave)

So, I do.

I’m at the Buffalo Lounge – 
It’s a gay pub I used to frequent as a younger man –
it is the location where I was almost sexually assaulted –
why the mother fuck would I be here sitting on a swiveling stool?
(I probably should fucking leave) …

And, so I do –

I stumble out the front doors and, 
sloppily and without elegance, hail a taxi
(as I did frequently, so many years ago) …

The following evening I’m sitting in the living room 
of the home of my childhood best friend - 
(she arranged a “welcome back” get-together for me!) -
she has done really well for herself and for her family – 
she’s a schoolteacher and he’s a fucking chemist or some shit -
and she’s smiling at me now, while serving strawberries 
with a pink creamy sauce that comes in fancy metal saucers –
I’m lactose-intolerant – but ignore this fact –
I do not mention it - 
The creamy sauce looks fucking delicious –
and I ain’t gonna ask – and I ain’t gonna be rude –
I’m with friends – good friends – amazing friends – long-term friends
(there are nine supportive friends on couches and chairs seated around me –
and they are glad I’m here)
and I ain’t gonna fuck that up

[I dip the strawberries into the welcoming and creamy sauce]

I spend the night on my friend’s couch –
‘cause I end the evening – I end the party - drunk as fuck –
but it’s alright – 
it’s okay (nobody is angry or complaining or throwing me out the door) …
My friend gently and lovingly lays a blanket across me –
“Here is a pillow” she says, while she smiles genuinely and lovingly –
as she always does – as she always has

The fancy cuckoo clock on the wall will chime in a few hours –
and I will welcome it –
I’m still alive – 
who the fuck would have thought that’d be true? [absolutely nobody]

I’m still alive – 
[this evening nobody talked about the years of my drug addiction -
and I’m thankful for that!]
and I’m under a loving and comfortable blanket – 
and beneath my head is a comfortable pillow –

Never would I have ever imaged (many years later) …

Depression will wait for me until tomorrow –
For this evening, I exhale it as I fall quickly and confidently to sleep…
[a bit too drunk, but that’s okay]

I’ll call my therapist long-distance in the morning
[I have her on speed-dial] …

It’s not all bad. It fucking ain’t…

It ain’t -
It fucking ain’t.

Jimmy Broccoli lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he enjoys hiking, playing the washboard, and playing with puppies.

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