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Last Summer's Cooling

When the thick cream infiltrates the iced coffee it creates a black and white sex scene in my cup. The liquids--one creamy, one thin--meld themselves together in unctuous streams, tripping and falling over ice cubes, until they mix to form a milky brown oneness. I am eager to consume the sex scene in my hand, but will only do so after holding the sweaty cold drink to my forehead.

I used to place iced coffees on my face when I lived on an island called Manhattan. On this island there was no where to escape the endless spankings at the hands of a brutal summer sun. Iced coffee became a portable cooling device. I'd stick the chilly cup under my arm pits when no one was looking, even though on that island of Manhattan someone is most certainly always looking.

I lived in a high rise apartment I couldn't afford and would stay inside the small studio most days, propping my ass up on the narrow vent of the air conditioner by the window. I could see all the way to Brooklyn from up there. I'd sit on the air conditioner until my thighs grew raised bumps, cheap binoculars pressed to an unwashed face.

Ice Coffee

Twenty dollars is not enough to spend on binoculars if you really want to know what's happening inside your neighbor's home. You should probably spend at least $75, unless you can find some heavy, old binoculars at a flea market and flirt yourself into a good deal. The heavier the better, because when you are holding binoculars to look into the windows of strangers your hands shake. The fight the tiny Asian lady is having with her meathead boyfriend becomes blurry. You can't tell if the makeup session at an expensive dressing table is for her or the man who might come later. Splurge on a telescope, I say, with all the money you save staying in.

Sometimes I'd imagine someone was watching me, too, so I'd put on productions in my apartment. I'd pretend. I'd pull the blinds all the way to the top and open my laptop and stare at it, unmoving, for hours. 

In Manhattan, you can have a single iced coffee delivered to your house.

[photo by Duncan Spalding]


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