Whereforto Ye Wanderers

Whereforto Ye Wanderers.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

i blew it (coffeezone, columbia, misery)

we passed each other in the hallway
gorgeous, glasses, 5-foot-two
short hair and peacoat
coffeeshop, headphones
i sit on the pot
humming a distant, unmasterful piece stolen from past thoughts

"play it cool, but blow it up
play the fool, blow it up"
twenty-something, bearded, not much unlike myself
walks through a locked door
inhaling my stench
says sorry, never to be seen again
i return to my seat
play it cool
wander past her down the aisle
i ain't paid a dime here
here, i own my time
read aloud in a well-lit corner
behind hand-carved fake fireplace
i am known and unknown, peering at peers with excitement
it's 4:20, and i've been sober for 13 hours
step outside for a smoke
she follows out the door, walks halfway up the block
i watch shamefully
as she turns back
she bums a smoke, offers a quarter
i'm too lonely to say no
beautiful gray skirt
the kind a lost poet would write about
she expected a newport, but not cause i'm cheap
as my hands shake in the cold, dressed cheap
"i am cheap" i disclose in my best self-deprecating voice
"you sure do smoke fancy cigarettes, though"
i look down
i do
but i found mine on the ground just an hour earlier with a full pack in pocket
we blow smoke
as she tells me she's waiting for her friend's hummer to arrive
"nice" i say, unconvinced
"well, not nice" we agree in unison
we smile, as she admits it's just too cold for her bike
and, with no fear of elephants here,
nice for her indeed
i wonder what to say
knowing exactly what i want to say
so i finish up, leave this beautiful-stranger-never-to-be-seen-again
wanting more
return to my corner
turn to look as she walks away
wishing i could say,
"i'm jake, can i write you a letter?"
but gone she went, til the next forever

in a world both dead and alive
i'm just a cat who played it cool

(blow it up!)

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