I Am Bummed, But Maybe I Should Feel Fortunate And Flattered
I stopped for coffee. It was raining. It was cold. I was wet.
So I stopped for coffee.
Someone smashed my window. Someone smashed the
window of my car--it was morning,
there were people walking by--and someone
smashed my window.
Someone stuck their body through the broken windowglass,
over little chunks of glass and over slivers of glass, and
someone left their scrabble scrabble scrabble bootmarks
on the door of my car.
Someone must have looked pretty stupid, half
in the car and half outside, feet kicking madly in mid air
like that. Pretty stupid. Pretty goddamn stupid.
And wet. Did I mention it was raining? It was raining.
I was wet.
There was shouting and there was swearing
when I got back to my car. Completely useless,
of course--I was alone
and my stuff was gone.
Most of my stuff was gone. My funky sunglasses
had been too far to reach (Ha! Ha! asshole--they
were expensive, and I really like them a lot. Ha! Ha!)
but the rest was gone:
a pocketful of papers and notebooks and other stuff and
as usual, the thing that made me sick
was the time and all the work that was lost, not really
the stuff. I could do it all over again, from scratch
if I had to--I won't have to--but
there were hours and pieces of a week, pieces of a
couple of weeks, crammed inside the missing plastic box
and printed in carbon black on missing sheets of paper.
Last time, it was months I lost, from an office, locked,
in a locked building, at night.
That's what I resent--the theft
of my time and my sweat.
And my thoughts.
The cop was a good guy.
The dude who fixed my car was a good guy.
The kids at the record stores who took the list of my
stolen music and who promised to call me when the
asshole showed up to sell my CDs,
they were good guys.
The girl behind the register at the cafe where
I found a bunch of my stuff out back, in the dumpster,
she was a good guy.
The engineers at work who did a bunch of things for me,
today, they are good guys.
The people I saw when I was walking around today,
seemed to be good guys.
Oh--the stuff in the dumpster. I got back my notebook.
I got back my W2 form. I got back a letter from a friend.
I got back a bunch of papers with math on them,
and graphs and memos listing things I was
supposed to do.
I didn't get back my pay stub (Ha! Ha! asshole, it only
looked like a cheque). I didn't
get back a plain manilla folder
full of poems I have written. Why?
Copyright John D Porter © 1998
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