Monday, April 20, 2015

the hero of the rest of that story

It was a dream
About this thing that used to happen all the time
     in our adolescence and adolescent adulthood
You and I were at one of those parties
     thrown by the larger circle of friends

Which we’d only agree to go to provided we had one another’s back

In this version, though
We’re actually not who we used to be
But who we’ve grown up to be
     You with the wife and kid, and the 9 to 5
          (or, the 7 to 5, in your case)
Me splitting time between perpetual student and clinic

And we’ve all returned, as if to a very specific sort of reunion
     You and I having a tacit agreement
     That my emotional entanglements of the past
(of which you’re well aware and we need not detail for these purposes)
     would not make me timid

It was going quite well
But I had one of my moments
     Someone requested you for something
     You were gone for what seemed an eternity of a few minutes
     I panicked
     I ran

I mean I really ran
     Somehow I had my shorts and shoes
     And I just started jogging off
          Down a neighborhood street that was a little bit like
          any street in every town I’ve ever lived in.

I worked up the requisite sweat after a couple of miles
Which seemed to get it out of my system
     But there I was returned to my senses and stranded
     Though with a phone in my pocket
               (which should tell you it definitely wasn’t the 90s)

And even in my dreams
Yours is the only number I still have memorized

“I’m sorry, man
     I pulled a John…”

You pulled a John,
     you laughed, not in the least disappointed

“But can I pick up some ice cream for everyone since I’m out?”
          (which should tell you I wasn’t 19 anymore)
You conferred with the rest of the guests
And decided on the spot this was the best way to explain why I wasn’t there

I woke up right after buying the Blue Bell

There’s no doubt in my mind you came and got me

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