Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Just Wanted to Feel Whole Again

One year ago
Almost to the day
I lost my passport
Stupidly, clumsily
The day I went to visit
My grandkids
In Charlotte
North Carolina
The kicker was
That there was no need
To even have
The damn thing
Along with me
Since it was a domestic flight
And I had my driver’s license
Which was all the ID
That I actually needed
I lost the damn thing
On the Septa train
On the way to the airport
Not being a seasoned traveler
Any more
(Not that I was ever really one
To begin with)
I am world famous
For being a notorious
Stick in the mud
But old habits die hard
And I thought that I had put
The damn thing
In a safe place
But no matter
When it came time
To produce some ID
I went looking for her
And she was gone
Vanished into thin air
Not possible
I thought
Checking and rechecking
Every piece of baggage
And clothing
That I was carrying
Until finally
I realized the damn thing was lost
Now I am in a cold sweat
Picturing in my mind
Who has my passport now
And will it end up
In the hands of criminals and
Terrorists or worse
The chance of the passport
Being found by a nun
From Mother Theresa’s order
Zilch to none
Finally, getting my bearings,
I managed to produce
My driver’s license
So that I was allowed to proceed
To the security check in zone
By this time I was thoroughly frazzled
And ready to be further humiliated
At the airport security gate
By the TSA guards
When my pants fell down
(After I was told to remove my belt)
Now in addition to losing my pants
I had no shoes
(All folks must take off their shoes nowadays
Every since the failed shoe bomber attack)
And all my remaining worldly belongings
Were on some conveyer belt
Being examined by strangers
For contraband
When the only contraband I had
Was my shit stained draws
Now visible for all the world to see
To top it all off
When I put my shoes back on
I realized that
I had on the wrong pair of shoes
Somehow my shoes got mixed up
With some one else
Who must have been in such
A twisted hurry
He never noticed
The switch
So now I had on this pair of
Two sizes too small
That so pinched my diabetic toes
That by the time I reached Charlotte
That the two big toe toenails
Had to be removed
(And they have not grown back fully since)
My foot doctor could not believe the damage
Done to my feet
All from wearing the wrong pair of shoes
Is there a moral to this story
One, next time take the bus or train
Two, make sure you are wearing
Comfortable shoes
And three
Leave the passport home
Unless you are going
To Paris, France
Or some such foreign place
That actually requires
The damn thing
And four
Always remember
To kiss and hug
Your grand kids
No matter what

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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