Crisis

We are not doing anything about it because we have to help our parents pay their mortgage. We are not doing anything about it because the children want dogs to play with. We are not doing anything about it because I cannot stop thinking about a girl I sat and watched at a coffee shop six subway stops away. We are not doing anything because who believes that stuff anyway? When I close my eyes I do not see oceans breaking over Miami or San Francisco but green eyes from a sooty dream in a café. We are not doing anything about it because her hair is dark and heavy like carbon dioxide and likewise pungent and cloudy by memory. We are not because it’s too hot in the summer. We are not doing anything about the world of our children and grandchildren because we have not made them yet. I want a family and three children and a yard and a gabled roof. We are not doing anything because all I can think of is sex. We are hungry students. We are poor. We are not doing anything about it because she answered the phone and said yes and we met at the café where I first saw her and we went for a long walk near the river and that day we could not imagine the footprints we made would one day fill with water and the sediment of youth. We are not doing anything about it because I am writing a novel. I have work tomorrow. I found a job forging college essays for teenagers. They are thinking about the future. We are saving money to travel the world and see the endangered places tipping into the edge. We are not doing anything about it because she hasn’t answered her phone in a week and the space between rings and the rings are the rising knife of not her. I am distracted. I cannot read news articles like this. I cannot feel guilty like this. We are not doing anything about it because I want to own a home and pay bills and eat cereal in the morning and wake up to her on her side facing away from me knowing she has not moved in the night. I want to make enough money to buy her happiness as best I can. We are not doing anything about it because we have to pay our mortgage. There’s a new cell phone out. APR is lower for Christmas deals. We are not doing anything about it because I usually take public transportation. I use CFL bulbs and wash my clothes in cold water. We are not doing anything about it because she has put on weight. Her hips and breasts are round like the curve of her lips. We are not doing anything about it because she’s sick. We are not doing anything about it because she looks beautiful in white. Like a fragile rounded egg. We are not doing anything about it because we are on vacation. We just bought gym memberships. I have to clean. While making protein shakes I heard a gasp from the bedroom and spilled yolk and powder across the floor. We are not doing anything about it because it’s a boy and he has ten toes and ten fingers and cried when the doctor held him and he already looks like me. We are not doing anything about it because we live inland. We are not doing anything about it because I don’t mind mosquitoes. We are not doing anything about it because our baby is sick and hospitals need fuel and electricity and that is where our baby is. This is now the land of our children. But our children want dogs to play with. We are not doing anything about it because his hair is soft and hot like molten string. Outside on the pavement our grandchildren fry eggs in the sun. We are not doing anything about it because where are the car keys? We are not doing anything because sometimes at night her thighs remind me of her thighs years ago. It’s trash night. There is going to be a storm and the Bhatnagars need to trim the rotten branches on their linden tree. There is a book I might read. I’m starting that diet again. Her father’s funeral ran late. We are taking continuing education courses on kitchen sanitation at the community college. I haven’t had coffee yet. We are not doing anything about it because Harold is sick. The Bhatnagars invited us over for dinner. We’re vegetarians now. But she’s staying late at work again. I spend my afternoons remembering how I used to play baseball in the field behind my house where bums lived in deserted dugouts. We are not doing anything because our friends are dying from other things: cancer is bad Lyme is bad high cholesterol is bad car accidents are bad alcohol poisoning is bad suicide is bad. We are not doing anything because I do not actually believe she will sign the papers. I have not slept well for thirty-two years. We are not because I stubbed my toe on the new Ikea desk that I will use to do my writing about which I had forgotten but it’s not too late yet. There’s still all the potential in the world. I was twenty-three years old, once, you know. I want to, but I don’t think we will. I want to, but I have work tomorrow.