On bed, looped


THIS PHOTO appeared in my mind this morning, lying in bed before dawn listening to distant howls from glue-sniffers (that or something similar), a common occurrence on weekend nights here in the barrio.

I am atop another bed,* one I inherited from my maternal grandmother, in New Orleans about 1978. By the look on my face and the glass in my hand, I detect that I was five sheets to the wind, as I often was in those distant days when not at my duty station at the newspaper, and sometimes even then.

I am (Good Lord!) sporting polyester shorts, and I weigh about 225 pounds, the heaviest of my life. But, as you can see, I am not really fat. I am simply very big. I don’t know how I pulled that off. And the shirt is a baby-blue guayabera I had purchased in Puerto Rico a couple of years earlier.

Now I weigh 170 tops, am a teetotaler, own no polyester or guayabera, and there is not a black hair on my head. It all went silver like the Lone Ranger’s horse. Colors change. Lots of things change.

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* I used to go to sleep as a child on that very bed next to an open window in rural Georgia, listening to crickets singing in the nearby grass under Southern moonlight.