This is a list of the strays I have known.
Some I have befriended, some I have only encountered.
Some are still with me, others are gone.
There’s the manic depressive who always asks for second chances,
the former salutatorian who had to give up on it all,
the drug-beaten hermit,
a bevy of gay waiters,
a leather jacket
a black cat who wants so desperately to talk to me,
a woman who when she sleeps speaks in two languages at once and thus makes a new language that is only for her, that can only be spoken by her and that can only be understood by her.
There are three weird sisters with complementary magics,
and a Southern lady abandoned by her beau in deepest darkest Chicago,
a self-built robot,
a happy cook,
4 or 5 video game addicts,
a light blue 1991 Chevy Lumina which I called Owen, after my dower but attractive high school Spanish teacher, and which acted as a divining rod for traffic accidents.
There are the cab drivers with learned degrees,
cab drivers who are dodging child support,
cab drivers with criminal convictions,
cab drivers driving along the margins of the city, alone in the late night.
There’s the world’s most talented squanderer of talent: he was a friend.
A one-eyed astronomer, also a friend.
There was the deputy high priest of this cult I started when I was in 5th grade.
There was the trash bag of pornography magazines I found in the woods.
All the strays.
All coming and going.
Some I have known,
some I have not known.