Dregs

28 Nov

My apartment smells funny.

It hits me every time I 

open the door to the building.

 

My neighbors are nice enough

though they are either A.A.R.P.

A.A.

or with the Mental Health Association.

 

The apartment manager is a nosey gossip

whose son was stabbed last week

trying to break up a domestic dispute.

 

My newest pastime is wrapping

live roaches into tissue paper

and burning them in my sink.

 

It isn’t the best place I’ll ever live

but at least it’s my own space.

Any noise that I hear I is because I made it.

I’m the only person that I have to clean up after, and

If I bring an ugly girl home, no one has to know about it.

 

I can see the river from my bedroom window

and the sunrise occurs over the park

across the street.

It been ten years since I left college

and I’m not that far away from all those

anxieties and doubts that I felt–

stress dogging me even under the best of circumstances.

 

Although I knew it all would work out,

I would have never guessed in a million years

that I would take the path that I traveled to get there–

here.

 

I doubted myself the whole time

even with the constant reminders that everything was okay.

How could I have known it would look the way it does?

I wasn’t creative enough to know what it would look like,

but I had enough faith to know it could work.

 

This isn’t what I envisioned for myself to be in my late thirties.

But it is also the last time that I’ll ever get to live like a deadbeat

something I’ve turned into an artform–

yet it certainly had an expiration date.

 

It was time to position myself as a breadwinner,

no more promises or projected trajectories.

Just cold hard fact

Ipso Facto

Women my age are no longer wowed by potential

from men my age.

 

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m quite thankful for what I have

the place is almost a step up

from an Eastern Bloc ghetto in the mid- 80’s.

 

There was a time in my life

when I didn’t even need a bed

living like a character out of a

literary (Fante?Carver?Bukowski?) narrative.

 

There was a romantic element in sleeping

soundly in a sleeping bag on the floor.

I was so much younger then,

my joints didn’t scream as loudly from

a bad night’s sleep

 

It is too late to question my subconscious.

I chose to be here

out of desperation, laziness, and being cheap,

out of the need to remind myself

that I’m not quite there yet,

that I have to work just a little bit harder

to wake up to that feeling again

of being where I’m suppose to be.

~Edward Austin Robertson

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