Friday, April 20, 2012

Un Film Sans Titre - Une Vie Sans Permission

Outside the window
There is a howling of wind
A major snow storm
A good old fashioned
New England nor’easter
The kind of storm that
Makes one instinctively
Want to search out places of
Warmth and safety
And to double check
The pantry shelves
To make sure that
They are well stocked
With survival canned goods
Just so that there is
No necessity to have to
Venture forth
Into the raw elements
In order to fire up
The old Volvo
For the drive to the nearest
Super market or neighborhood
Grocery story
To forage for food and
Other basic necessities
Though I am sure
That there are those
Brave, hardy and
Intrepid souls
Who would venture out
Into the blinding snow
Like Shackerton
in search of the
South Pole

Well good for them
Just so long as it
Doesn’t have to be me!

Despite my reluctance
To venture outside
I soon find myself
Dressed in my warmest
Winter gear
Trying to shovel
The walk
To clear a path
From the street
To my house
So that the junk mail
Can be delivered
(God forbid if the junk mail
Doesn’t make it through!)

As a homeowner
I am required by law
To shovel the
Sidewalk in front
Of my house
So that passersby
Can safely
Go about their business
Without having to
Walk in the road
Risking mayhem and death

I am not the only one who
Is out shoveling the snow
My neighbors are also
Out in force
And the scraping sound
Of shovels hitting sidewalk
Can be heard
Up and down the
Residential neighborhood
This is one of the few times
That I get to see
All of my neighbors

We wave to each other
Soldiers and comrades in arms
Against the wind and the cold
Stamping our feet and
Clapping our gloved hands
To keep the blood flowing
To keep the life force
Trying to ward off
Frost bite
And frozen hands and
Frozen toes

Later there will be time
For hot chocolate and
Hot tea and coffee
With maybe a shot or two
Of bourbon whiskey to
Warm our insides
Against the frost and the cold
While inside our homes
Furnaces and fire places
Are working overtime
To maintain a cozy and steady
Seventy degrees

Our legions of
Pet dogs and cats
Have by now
Curled up to sleep
In their favorite
Warm spots
And their snores
Are keeping pace
With their dreams

As I bend to the task at hand
My mind drifts back
To an earlier time
In my life
When things
Were far from being
so orderly and predictable
When things
Were a far cry
From being so orderly
And nice

She was upstairs
In the bedroom
I could hear her sobbing
From the foot
Of the stairwell
I went up to her
To see what was the matter
She was screaming
At the top of her lungs
Her purple swollen face
Buried deep into a pillow
Absolutely hysterical
Totally apoplectic
A complete psychotic break!

She was squealing
Like a full grown sow
On the way
To the slaughterhouse
Nothing I could say or do
Would or could comfort her
Finally I gave up
For chrissakes I said
I get it already
I really do get it

It took another year
For the divorce
To become final
But at least
I will never again
Have to listen
To that god awful
Psychotic squeal fest
Ever again

She claims that
When she was
A young girl
(Around twelve years old)
That she happened
To have stumbled upon
The hanged dead body
Of her next door neighbor’s son
Who at the time
Was also her best friend
(And perhaps her first crush?)

The boy was found
Hanging from the rafters
In his father’s basement
An apparent case of suicide
(After the police were called
Alerted by her hysterical screams)

She had volunteered the details
Of this story
One night at the dinner table
Quite out of the blue
While we were making
Polite dinner conversation
During the early days
Of our courtship

I had simply asked her
To please pass
The carrots and peas

Instead of the carrots and peas
She passed along
This nightmarish
Tale of blood and gore

I should have known then
That she was damaged goods
But I forced myself
To not believe it

After all she was just
Trying to make
Polite dinner talk

I told her that I was sorry
That she had to experience
Such a tragedy
At such a young and
Impressionable age

In reply
She merely
Shrugged her shoulders
Oh well she said
(This time passing
The carrots and peas)
It all happened
Such a long, long
Time ago

Such a long, long
Time ago indeed

The snow
Has finally stopped falling now
And I kick off the frozen
Snow and ice
From my gloves and
Water proof timberland boots
And I place the snow shovel
Back in it’s
Customary resting place

I look around
And survey my handiwork
Satisfied that I have done
A good job
Of clearing off the path

I am no long snow bound
I once again have access
To the glorious outside world
(Still covered in a pristine
Winter cloak of freshly fallen snow)

It is almost evening
And my porch light
Clicks on automatically
I return to the warmth and comfort
Of my living room
Careful not to disturb Katrina
(My sleeping pet cat)

I settle into my comfy
Reclining chair and
I take account of my life

My world is comfortable now
My world is peaceful now
And neighbor
If there is ever anything
That I can do about it
That is the way
Things are always
Going to stay

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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