WORK OF THE MONTH - ARCHIVE
a humbling place to learn
i couldn't stand out there in the cold
leaning against a building
waiting for people to pull up into the drive thru
so i can hit them up for a dollar.
not without losing some of my mind.
my mental faculties wander around just waiting for
the coffee to brew in the morning.
so what's my dollar?
what is it really?
yes, i know you're a drunk, loser, alcoholic, whatever
and in the grand scheme of things
what difference does it make?
i remember as a child
sleeping on the cold hard surface
of the kitchen floor
in front of the refrigerator vent.
it was warmer there than under the worn blanket
laying on the bed that sat next to the cracked window
letting in all of winter's wind.
i was a child and felt what you feel.
i was helpless then
now i'm not.
what have i done with what i've learned?
what have i learned?
how can i turn you down, a grown human child.
yes, you're going to spend it on liquor or cigarettes,
so was i, at some point.
so my dollar puts you that much closer
to your misguided need.
what are my misguided needs?
i'm the one sitting in this drive thru
waiting for one stupidly overpriced soda
while you curl up the collar of your jacket against the wind.
how did i get to be the acceptable one
and you the shunned?
you asked kindly enough.
why did it hurt so to watch you walk up the street?
it hurts because i'm not disconnected.
oh, i want to be, i want to think i am.
i want to say you and i did not come from the same mould.
i want to say we don't share the same fears and idiosyncrasies;
you from yours and me from mine.
i've deliberately detached
and what have i lost in the process?
what else do i not feel, see, hear?
what tic of the heart do i now have
as a result of cutting myself off from those just like me
only not as warm?
so here guy, here's the dollar.
it's all you asked for and
i don't know what else to give you
i don't know what else i have to give
that you would want.
i'll tell the drive thru people i changed my mind.
they'll know it had something to do with
me giving you the dollar
and they'll think less of both of us.
it's only fair.
you've moved on to where your next dollar
is going to come from and
in the comfort of my car
in the middle of the drive thru
i write about your affect on me
what a humbling place to learn
© Abigail Waters, 2005 (all rights reserved)