i take off my glasses and change my attitude.
so boring. this is what starts the trouble in the first place.
she walks right past me carrying on an internal monologue externally:
“oh. are you a man? huh? only a man would say such things.”
a full moon shines.
there is a train.
on the sidewalk, a flock of birds drops out of the sky.
back up on the hill, i sit at a restaurant booth. make a donation of $1. to the investigator girl who also works in food service.
my family walks by: “oh, Margaret, where were you?”
(fake consternation, as per usual)
at the long table we have discussions.
“okay,” i tell my mother. “we need to leave, because i wrote on some stuff, and i’m gonna get arrested for it.”
“what stuff? it can’t be that expensive. waddya mean, arrested?”
my sister stares at me with a death glare.
(so what else is new?)
“and so you would find me wanting?” my mother asks.
“i would,” i say in my insect mask in a voice that is scarred
i got this wallet in Africa
three tries and i’m out the door
going on safari.
first Kinneys for the anti-malarials (not really).
across a snow-covered picnic table and brown blades poking from the snow in the field
the window of ground zero
glares baleful at me
or so i believe.
(i can see it from here!)
just another day.
another opportunity for disappointment
but there he is.
i stand behind an old woman
skinny in jeans and jacket and pink lips who turns and says, “oh, I thought someone was
no worries. he is watching me, then vanishes.
i try to suspend disbelief and he is back. we look at each other and i roll my eyes
at the old
woman who is conducting business on a minute, painstaking level.
he turns and whistles quietly.
before the large woman behind the counter can say my number
he half-yells it out, puts the
bag on the counter and
“that was quick,” i say to the no one, apparently.
then he’s back, sweeping.
he’s full of tricks, my
five point three opens it up or was it three point five
the young blond man sits on a perch at the
back of the restaurant from the Middle Ages.
he has a gun and randomly shoots someone
towards the end of the meal.
(it adds to the excitement.)
he is affable and polite.
“can i go through that door behind you?”
his smile falters.
“okay,” i say, and go through.
(we are on a quest to reach our home).
the old man sits in a heavy chair.
two huge cats come
i stand still. they nuzzle me, speaking
in bass voices.
there is a book of spells and mysteries that
i have to learn.
the skeletons of massive
beasts. the girl does not want me.
at the top of the world
where the green fields arc
and the sky is a blue infinity
sits the ramshackle hippie
we gather to watch
NASA-built dirigibles plunge
from the ionosphere
in slow-motion crashes
the real festivities are getting
i need to leave before this
i left the Indian man and went with the hilljack
with long gray hair and piercing blue eyes
who worked in organics in a shop
at the end of the wharf.
“why did you pick me?” he says. “never mind.
i think i know.”
(another man makes chicken
while he plays jacked-up Bach in
fast-motion on an organ mounted
into the granite countertop
in the space-age hyperspeed kitchen.)
definitely not the one
“how d’ya get into rehab? you go to those meetings, right? i need it bad. c’mon, you know,
“sorry. name’s Matt Rheingold.”
“so. can you help me?”
“he broke off with Wally too soon,” i say to someone. “he’s in shock,.”
i have a pill bottle in my hand.