It’s three in the morning. The air is sweet, and a little cool, and the moisture of it touches her face as she walks. It makes her feel like she’s living at the ocean again. She makes a promise to herself to make that happen in her life again. She loves the ocean air.
A man and his dog pass by her. She makes eye contact with the man and reaches down and pats the dog on the head.
His name is lazy bum because no matter how loud I yell the fucker still won’t get a damn job, he says. She smiles. She thinks that maybe she had been supposed to laugh because a vague look of failure comes over the dog companion’s face as he pulls on the leash and walks away.
She lights a cigarette and turns down an alley. She knows it may not be safe for her to walk through alleys at this time of night, particularly being her gender. But she loves alleys. They feel like secrets. She feels like she’s creating them as she walks through them.
She remembers suddenly that she forgot to put the ham away, and that someone will likely be upset about that.
“Uncle genius is dead”, she thinks.
He used to sing that “I would walk 5000 miles” song to her. She thought it was so funny when he sang the “bah dah dah” part at the top of his lungs.
They called him Uncle Genius because before her, he was the only one in the family that had a degree from a college. A real degree-not a certificate that they had completed a course in welding. A real college where there had been teachers and they taught mysterious things and conjured science experiments and dissected frogs, and made their students write a lot (Uncle Genius, it turned out, really liked the writing part because his job had been writing stuff).
Uncle Genius didn’t live forever. She thinks he must not be much of a genius then if he couldn’t figure that part out. I thought he knew everything, the bastard. He lied to me, she thinks, and looks for another alley to create.