I found a note in a bar, atop the fireplace. I had to be quick to retrieve it, I hate fireplaces. The smell they stain to your clothes, it has always bothered me. I found this note and didn’t give it back. I read it over a pint; a pint that beaded with sweat, just like its temporary owner:
“Dear Mel, Melissa,
I remember what you said. About the blossoms in Japan, how you wanted to see them. I went to the florist today, to find the blossoms. It turns out you can’t just buy them anywhere, any time. I guess I didn’t probe you about this.
I also remember that you liked my socks – the ones with the stripes and the polka dots on the toes. How you wanted some. I went in search of these too, then I realised I never took notice of your feet. How big they were. I didn’t want to get it wrong, so I didn’t buy you any of these socks.
Lastly, I remember how you said you liked notes. That there was nothing more ‘real’ than an honest note or letter. So I am writing this to you.
I thought about you tonight as I was putting together my mum’s new lamp. Fitting together slender poles. Ripping them out of their plastic covers. Twisting them. Bending them. Pushing them into each other. My mum was watching me closely. Completely unaware that you were being put together in her living room. We both smiled when you were plugged in and you lit the room.
There’s a bit of my chest still on your back, and a bit of your saliva still somewhere in my throat. I’ll try not to cough it up. In fact, I’ll drink it down and make sure it is buried in me. So that my stomach can’t forget. Maybe that’s why, as I write this note, and I’m thinking of you, my stomach gets queasy. Perhaps you’re not meant to be in there. Your saliva I mean.
Jeremy Steven Rockdale.”
I let my pint sweat. And wondered why this guy, Jeremy, just left this note, for this girl, Melissa. Why she never got it? Or maybe she did, and she left it here?
I ask at the bar if they know a Jeremy. They say they do. He’s a writer. He was in here tonight. He was crying. And smiling. And drinking, but not quickly. He was writing too. Did you see what he was writing? No, they didn’t see what he was writing, but when they asked, he said it was something for a new film. A sad film. He hadn’t been working on it long, but it was near completion. Oh, and have you ever seen any of his films before? The bartender had. Only one. It was about a girl he couldn’t forget, so he drank her away.