Patty Seyburn

When I asked the men to bring my couch inside, they shook their heads: threshhold delivery, ma'am and I pictured them lovingly carrying my movable the way a bride once was hoisted. That was before me, though not before some my age, those who relish putting a nice meal on the table nightly. We trouble each other. Trouble often comes in threes and I am often found waiting for a dropped shoe or something heavier and pointy: a spike-heeled boot, part of a pair, which means there is a lone shoe, somewhere. My husband sold shoes. Four on the floor, he taught me: you should be presented with choices, and the shoe-dog should be kneeling like a prince. I invented the last part. Princes don't work in retail though it would help the aristocracy if trained to do something useful. I have a practical streak that gets dyed each six weeks—now every four. It is hard to hide. I loathe hide-and-seek, scarred from having not been found, waiting too patiently. Somewhere dark. Back then, we did not know these moments would cling, regulars at the dive-bar of your dreams. We thought they were singular, forgettable. I remember living on an edge, how blithely I averted hazard, nimble-footed. I cannot run as fast now but have much better endurance.






I have loved the word "Davenport" since torturous bus-rides to summer camp as a child. We'd sing a song where you spell "Lollilop" "Davenport" and "Castor Oil." Otherwise, I might never have known what the latter two were. The davenport verse includes the line, "With a hug, and a squeeze, and an 'ooh, Johnny, please'." Resist that. Go to Nordstrom and see if the older salesmen don't put four on the floor.