To the Man on Karmada Street Frying Eggs in His Underwear by Josh Olsen
I can see you, you know? I can see you. I’m not trying to see you, but you’re difficult to ignore. Your window is open, and your lights are on. And you’re standing in front of your stove – fork in one hand, skillet in the other – wearing no more than a white undershirt and black bikini-brief underwear. I can see you from the sidewalk, where my dog has stopped to shit. I can’t imagine I’m the first to see you tonight, but maybe I’m lucky. Maybe it was meant to be. Maybe our paths were destined to cross. But unless I go up and knock on your window or ring your doorbell, chances are you’ll remain oblivious. And of course, I’m going to stay right here on the sidewalk, and when my dog has finished squatting, I’m going to bag his leavings and continue on with my walk. You’re going to remain completely unaware of my presence, but I am going to remember you for a long time. You have given me a gift. You have enlivened my otherwise forgetful night. And, for that, I must thank you. You look so natural, so comfortable. More comfortable than I have ever felt in my own skin. I assume that even if you knew that I could see you, you would not care, and maybe even that’s what you desire. Maybe you’ve been standing there, in front of your stove, in clear view of the entire neighborhood, all night long. Maybe you’ve been waiting for someone to come knock on your window or ring your doorbell. Maybe you’re making enough eggs for two. Granted, I will never know, for sure, that you’re frying eggs, but I can’t even fathom another meal. What could be more perfect than a pan of fried eggs? I hope there’s someone in your duplex to share those eggs with, but if not, I hope that someone eventually comes knocking.
Josh Olsen is a librarian in Flint, Michigan and the co-creator of Gimmick Press, an independent publisher of niche literature and art.
Photo by Serge Le Strat