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Old Man Resting


Old Man Resting

In a random direction to an uncertain destination but one cannot question his determination. He’ll sense the route. Eventually. The tugging of magnetic forces. A formation of flying fowl like an arrow pointing somewhere. He’ll discover a trail or breadcrumbs on the ground leading to a magical place. Or follow an enticing aroma carried on the soft autumn breeze. Something will show the way.

The joy of the truly lost and aimless. The freedom. Rejecting the fetishes of productivity and efficiency. Appointments. Goals. Measured accomplishments other than the length of your stride. It’s enough to be alive. On the move. Or not.

He stops to sit on a park bench. Awaiting the company of other park benchers. An unlikelihood among the scurrying, tight lipped starers at distant horizons that may or may not exist or have meaning.

Perhaps he should have consulted a manual. Had his cards or palm read. Rolled the dice. Hired a guide. Found someone who presents a card that reads Psychic Repair Free Estimates. Long ago. Instead he lingers on a park bench of puzzling placement. No bus stop before him. Only a leafy tree and a parking lot behind. The lot looks new. Maybe a building was razed but the bench spared. A sentry with none to serve and nothing to protect.

The bench has a wrought iron base. Fancy curlicued metal. The wooden seat and back slats with cracked and peeling blue-gray paint. A solid bench that will outlast him unless progress strolls by, takes note and finds itself offended (it’s easy to piss off progress) by this worn and abandoned relic. He’s talking about the bench, mind you.

A chorus of birds in the tree that provides unneeded shade. The sun will set soon. Perhaps the family of birds is preparing for bedtime. The sky is taking on the blue-gray hue of the bench. When the birds momentarily quieten the tree whispers to him in a language he’s beginning to understand. The tree has not shed its leaves yet but will soon. Perhaps that’s the source of complaint. Or the annoying, talkative birds

This could be Pittsburgh or Cleveland. A rustbelt town rendered cheerful by it’s charming dreariness. A delightfully desolate outpost. The perfect place to take a final stand. From a seated position. A place where you will not feel over-whelmed. Perhaps merely whelmed.

Suddenly a little girl wearing a simple smock dress stands before him. The dress has giraffes. She studies the old man perhaps wondering if he comes with the bench. She neither smiles nor frowns nor blinks, her eyes sparkle like tiny jewels against a fading background that is slowly losing definition. She holds a red balloon. Up the street her mother calls in a weary, vexed voice. The child hands him the balloon and scampers off.

He’ll sit for a while longer holding the red balloon until he gathers his wits, sorts his moods, musters his reserves, counts his blessings, discards his regrets, ties his shoes and scratches his crotch.

Or until something else happens.

###

Sunday

Whoever designated Sunday as a day of rest

was a fucking genius

Or one crafty, lazy motherfucker

Sundays are my time

Me time

I time

Get out of my face

Leave me alone

I can sleep the day away but that would be

a wasted Sunday

Better to do that on a day when I

should be working

I could make it a day of adventure,

of danger

start the day by shaving my balls with a rusty

straight razor

No morning church since I do not

believe

I’m not sure the church believes either

If there is a God I’m pretty sure It doesn’t believe

in churches

Drinking is a fall back option

but how would that differentiate

Sunday?

Maybe romance

Meet a woman with a glass eye

or missing front teeth

or a harelip

a mustache

bunions

hemorrhoids

halitosis

Okay, no bad breathe or yeast infections

nothing that stinks

Just something to make me less

self-conscious

We could fall in love with each other’s

imperfections

that’s how it ends up

anyway

Get married

Get divorced after she tires of my drunken ass

and lack of conviction

Go to the movies

Play the ponies

Read Dostoyevsky

Masturbate

So many possibilities

It’s Sunday

###

Keep those cards and letters coming. Slip a sawbuck into the next envelope, will you? Please.

I’ll keep trying to offend and provoke. To tease. To abuse. How else can I get attention? Hate mail is grist for the mill. Your torches provide light. Your pitchforks, tar, feathers, rotten tomatoes. All useful and appreciated.

I want to keep you awake at night with doubt and confusion. To corrupt you and your family. Your spouse. Your sons. Your daughters. Especially your daughters. Your second cousins twice removed I will remove thricely.

I’m coming for you and yours. All of it and all of them.

You, my loyal fan. Whoever you are.

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