Tuesday, May 26, 2015


This morning when I woke up I realized I had recurring dreams about my neighbor's pancake griddle left in the backyard on the pile of stuff they were leaving behind. Natalie had told me, "We used this all the time for pancakes, eggs, bacon. There used to be metal tray that caught the grease," she said as I turned it over. It was missing its cord and had a broken foot. It had been loved to death.

Nat worked in a restaurant in Medway so she never cooked at home. This was from another life when she worked at the hardware store down the street. I used to see her through the window and wave when I walked by with my dog. Then she became my next door neighbor and I was thrilled. The shouts and screams and squad cars became a way of life but I liked them nonetheless. I worried about them. When their electricity went out, I asked her if she needed anything. Nat only wanted a cup of coffee. "How do you like it?" I asked. "With milk and sugar, thanks," she said handing me her mug.

Friday and Saturday her daughter were moving things into Nat's tiny silver Toyota. Sam was away with his dad. He showed up last night to the empty apartment and the abandoned pile of stuff on the lawn. His friend stood outside on the sidewalk as Sam ran in and quickly threw everything he owned into his friend's blue pickup truck. He left the apartment door wide open. It was like a Sam Shepard play, reminding me of all the abandonment and rage I felt at that age.