Eddie Maisonet is an afroboricua nonbinary interdisciplinary storyteller, teaching artist, and facilitator who is currently studying to become a dog trainer. Born and bred in Boston, he writes a lot about his complicated little city. He centers themes of wellness, disability, joy, collectivity, humor, and family inheritances.
Egg Cream/ New Normal
originally published in WBUR ARTery’s Poetry in the Time of Coronavirus, April 2020
Healer affirms I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Spirit & community got me.
Three summers at an ice cream shop, I made two egg creams. One during training- it found the drain. Brash boston accent ordered a chocolate one. Seltzer, syrup, milk. Manager told me it’s a Great Depression vestige. Who’d choose this over real rich ice cream. We have a deep need for richness, sweetness especially when everything is falling apart.
I find myself with roommate discussing shortages: using three squares or less of toilet paper per trip.
I find myself offered 90 day refills, teletherapy, newly livestreamed events. I didn’t have to ask.
I find myself full off smelling roommate’s clever use of overripe banana, a lone cup of apple sauce, pantry oats ground, dry roasted nuts: a vegan, gluten free recipe worth repeating.
I find myself before the man I can’t touch yet and he finally becomes my boyfriend. Through a screen, we shower one another with words and quality time.
I find myself remembering our fingers intertwined between us in his car. Queer internet adolescence prepared me for love when touch is dangerous and impossible.
I find myself in a new home during a pandemic, in a new normal. If I make it, I embrace this. Never thought I would understand the urgency of an egg cream until I adapted my idea of what makes a treat sweet.
I affirm I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and thank everything I’m anything but alone.