Raccoons, a story
by R. Bremner
On those frigid nights, we’d pop up from the subway wind tunnel into the blustery city street, padding past the lamplit haze, chuckling, our blood humming, eager for the ales and the warmth of the table talk.
We’d leave behind a trail of smoky breath, sailing upward and vanishing, vanishing like the breadcrumbs dropped by Hansel and Gretel, vanishing like those theories, those arguments and conjectures, those powerful words and mystical ideas that would soon leap out onto the table before us. So clear, so near, we never thought to try and catch them, to hold and save them. They were there. They would always be there, wouldn’t they?
Inside, the black furnace hummed. Our backs snuggled up against its heat, shivers surging the lengths of our spines. Puff-faced and bleary-eyed, we’d speak loudly, forage each other’s minds for the food of the soul, that naïve socialist optimism, the camaraderie of intellect and spirit so compatible with good bitter ale.
And as the old man swept the sawdust-covered floor, and the plump cat dozed under the table, we’d pack up our reassured faiths, gather our torn coats and years of rich promise, and set ourselves for the long dark cold path to the subway.
How little we understood then of the greyish smoke of our ale-worn words, so easily seized and muted by the cold darkness of the night around us.
R. Bremner has worked as a cab driver, a truck unloader, a computer programmer, and a bank vice-president. He has published in International Poetry Review, Inclement, Turbulence, Screech, Poets Online, Title Waves, the Passaic Review, and the Mensa Bulletin. Among his ebooks are Stories of Love and Hate, Poems for the Narrow, Nightmares: the Halloween Edition (poems of sheer terror), You are once again the stranger, Murder in Glen Ridge, and Lovers’ Suite, 37 Poems of Passion. All are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Itunes, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel.