Poetry

Raymond Carver: Still Looking Out for Number One

July 4, 2018

Note: I wrote this many months ago, when Greg left for a business trip in China

See you on Thursday. Greg said as he walked out the door. It was Saturday.

With eyes welling with tears and voice shaky, I did my best to bid him a happy farewell. I joked that I’d eat chips every day without his judging eyes.  That wasn’t entirely true. I only ate a bag and felt sick afterwards.

I should be used to him being away because that’s part of his job description: to attend client meetings, wherever in the world it may be, should the job require that he be there. The day of departure is always the saddest for me. The return, my greatest anticipation. In between waiting, before and after arrival, I only have one prayer: that he be safe and kept away from harm’s way.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever grow out of the nervous energy that occupies me each time he leaves, or the tingling excitement from the prospect of seeing him home in a few hours.

It’s nice to have someone good. Someone who stinks up the bed covers and occupies a huge part of your heart, your life. Someone whose mess in the kitchen you would gladly live with than without.

Someone good for always, yes, I think that’s what he is.

 

Still Looking Out for Number One
Raymond Carver

Now that you’ve gone away for five days,
I’ll smoke all the cigarettes I want,
where I want. Make biscuits and eat them
with jam and fat bacon. Loaf. Indulge
myself. Walk on the beach if I feel
like it. And I feel like it, alone and
thinking about when I was young. The people
then who loved me beyond reason.
And how I loved them above all others.
Except one. I’m saying I’ll do everything
I want here while you’re away!
But there’s one thing I won’t do.
I won’t sleep in our bed without you.
No. It doesn’t please me to do so.
I’ll sleep where I damn well feel like it —
where I sleep best when you’re away
and I can’t hold you the way I do.
On the broken sofa in my study.

 

Image from Pablo-Ruiz-Picasso.net

  1. Might be a bit better now that u have a baby.. u r a bit busier at least and before u know it, he is back. I like to “party” when mann is away.. by party i mean, eat all the fleisch and junk food, not clean at all and be my absolute lazy self.. but sometimes, i also like the distance. Good reminder that he is not attached to me like how my limbs are…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: