Peppermint Harris never walked too far from home; he didn’t like things he didn’t know. Still had his ’72 Gibson standing up in the corner of his daughter’s living room and only changed its strings when its rust and grunge cut through his calloused fingers. He nicked his face that morning shaving and dabbed some peroxide over the cut. He didn’t wash before he left and, as he waited for the light to change at the street corner, he smelled his hands. His black suit and cowboy hat hid a tired, aching body, the purple splotches on his legs, the red in his eyes, the beaten skin hanging onto its face.
And when he crossed the street, nobody knew who he was. None of the neighborhood kids called out Hey Peppermint, how ya doin? No one tapped him on the shoulder and asked for an autograph or sang one of his songs back to him. Not a soul even asked him for a light. After he picked up the pack of Camels, he’d stop at the bar next door for his usual: no famous imported beers, just two Buds and a double whiskey. He’d strike a match from the bar stool and he’d smile, remembering how he once enjoyed being recognized.
K. A. Wisniewski is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, the Managing Editor of Roving Eye Press, and an editor at Calypso Editions. His creative work has most recently appeared in Toad Suck, the Tule Review, Third Wednesday, the Chiron Review, Genre, the Sierra Nevada Review, and basalt. He lives in Baltimore.
Read an interview with K.A. here.