Friday, February 18, 2005

Blue Eels

My friend was dying of cancer
and his father was there
at the hospital
and he asked me
if I wanted to go for a smoke
and I said sure

we took the elevator down
and it was as slow as the dying
trying to get out of bed

we went outside
and then we went inside
his car
which was a station-wagon
which reminded me of a hearse
and he pulled out
a bottle of whisky
and we passed it back
and forth
and talked about Hemingway
and Elmore Leonard
and about the craft of writing
and we just kept smoking
and passing the bottle back
and forth
and the car windows
were rolled up tight
because it was wicked cold
and the blue cigarette smoke
looked like frozen eels
slithering through the air

I didn't know my friend's father
all that well
and it was strange
to be passing a bottle of whiskey back
and forth
in a hospital parking lot
watching the blue eels
while my friend lay dying
six floors up.

No comments: