By Erica Hoffmeister
is deceptively swanky, coffin-shaped happy hour menus and all. Our waiter is Kevin; well, Kevyn as he points out under curly hair pulled back in Levis hanging around his small frame. He’s never had the duck wings. It was once a mortuary, I’m told, skyline in view like little cardboard cutouts against a paper sky that reminds me of my mother’s house in June. I once had a home, but my brother burnt it down with a match during the Santa Ana’s when he was three. I order a cocktail next to a rusty green RV carved into the building under a fluorescent sign that reads “Olinger Mortuaries.” I can’t find the wheels, no matter where I look for them. There’s a false originality, evident in glassware that felt too light in the hand, two-toned boat drinks delivered with no straw, a flat world without windows. It’s amazing how many places in your life you can describe with the word “flat.” Sometimes the sky is blue, and sometimes it is red, but it’s never snow-capped in froth fit for a five-dollar artisan cocktail named after pirate Jews in Marrakesh. A sailboat would be better fitting here instead of that RV, docked on a rooftop set precariously over an ice cream shop playing Marvin Gaye too loud, crowded with mothers in business jackets and leather-strapped heels I’ll never afford. I’m uncomfortable in ripped jeans; they’re faded at the knees and smell like cats. I’ve never owned a cat, just a big blue dog I lost in a past life, whose tongue I still dream about on my calves when the world feels too wide for my wingspan. Can you feel it? It’s the first day of spring, and all I can think about is how many corpses have rolled over these very bricks.
Copyright Hoffmeister 2016