Issue #10 June 2019
Detail from Thirty-third (The View Is So Very Nice) by Tim Frisch

Jason Primm

Real Estate

All my regrets were fresh, like a pop song before I know the lyrics, and the only color on the street was her blue bike. It wasn’t locked the day that it was stolen. I was picking up a book for class, running in. After I found the place, I wrote on a postcard, a painting of Daniel Boone, We will be happier here, and if we feel guilty about things, there’s a cathedral six blocks away. She wrote back from an address that I didn’t recognize. It was the last apartment I smoked in. The week before I was to pick her up from the airport, I rented a steam cleaner from the Piggly Wiggly and threw out the coffee can of cigarette butts that I had been working on since September. Poured three buckets of tar water down the toilet. All my regrets were fully formed. They could walk upright. I went to the cathedral because my professor friend died. He had gotten lost in a cave. Some people can’t be happy with the quiet passing of days. He had a notebook with him, and lying in a crevice with a broken leg, he wrote notes to his wife, his children, his father, his mother, a few cousins, his doubles partner explaining which one of them should cover the lob, an ex-girlfriend, and a final to former Oakland A and New York Yankee, Rickey Henderson. His last written words were, Rickey, the battery in the flashlight is giving out. All my regrets were like old men playing chess. They were old enough to know what to do next and how many moves ahead it would take before the loss became inevitable. I wish I hadn’t agreed to watch her cat while she was abroad. I wish the cat had told me who stole the bike. It sat in the window by the street that whole year, grooming itself. Another woman slept with me in competition with her memory. It helped. 234, I remember the number but not the street. With a map, I could count back the streets from the cathedral. I never used the degree for anything. I’ve learned that if I tell enough lies, someone will love me. I have a fantasy about winning the lottery and buying all the places that I ever lived.