At Work the Other Day || Christopher Edelen

“I miss the rain,” he said.
Him being from where I’m from
in upstate New York,
where gloom is like a comforter.
And both of us here now,
in Los Angeles,
having missed each other by twelve years or so.

And there is something
obnoxious
about day after day of perfect weather.
About the sun screaming blisters
that aren’t painful, but mark repetition.

“What brought you out here?” he asked.
I tell him, “Friends and family.”

And I don’t tell him I was in Kentucky,
or that I got married at twenty-three
and got divorced at twenty-five,
so I decided to reconnect
with the only people I’ve ever felt were true friends:
the kids I ran around with
when I was thirteen.

And I don’t tell him I had
originally planned to quit my job,
and work on building sets
with them,
but instead I kept my steady, horrifying job
rather than bounce from gig to gig
with them,
because I am not a brave young man.

Then I ask him, “What brought you out here?”
to be polite,
and he said, “Stand-up. Though I’m writing more now.”

This was originally published in Spring 2018 edition of The Helix.