Friday, August 10, 2012

I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up!

When we were
School chums
Back in the day
As 13 year olds
Mark Twain
Junior High
Was our whole universe
And when we were
Mere whippersnappers
Still wet behind the ears
Little shits
Little snot noses
Snickering at everything
Wise cracking about everything
Telling dirty jokes
Pulling childish pranks
Chasing every girl in a skirt
Telling each other
Mostly bullshit stories
About our sexual prowess and
Conquests and
Exaggerating everything
Would be wise guys
With our hair
Slicked back
And greased to a shine
And combed
In the style of the day
Sides combed straight back
Pompadours puffed high
And pulled forward
So that our hair
Covered our eyes like
Brando and
Elvis and
Frankie Avalon and
Fabian and
Dion and
Bobby Vinton
(They were called
Teenage idols back then!)

Like the teenage heartthrobs
That we idolized
We would wear our
Blue jeans skin tight
With pointed shoes and
Solid colored
T shirts
With the sleeves
Rolled up
Just so
In imitation of
The older boys who
Carried packs of cigarettes
Strategically placed
Over their bulging
Tattooed biceps

We never dreamed
That we would ever
Grow old
Or that we would one day
Become just like
The old foggies
Who we used to laugh at
And make fun of
The old farts
With their walkers and canes
Their bent bodies and
Wrinkled faces
Smelling like camphor balls
The women wearing their
Dark brown stockings
Rolled up at the ankles
The men with their
Piss stained pants
Yellow teeth and
Yellow finger nails
Shuffling along the boardwalk
Sitting on the wooden benches
Feeding the pigeons
Talking non stop in
Their native tongues
(You name it)

And how we would mock them
And make fun of them
Never showing pity
Never feeling compassion
Never caring or even wanting
To try
To understand
(Like I said
We were little shits
And proud of it!)

At the time
There was a
Famous commercial
That ran incessantly
And radio
For a product called
Life Alert
The commercial
Would feature
An old woman
Who had fallen
And who could not
Get up off the floor
Hence the catch phrase
Help me!
I’ve fallen and
I can’t get up!

How we would howl
With derisive laughter
Every time we did our
Lame imitations
Of the commercial
Repeating the catch phrase
Over and over
Each time with as much
Mocking and derision
As we could muster!

Fast forward some
Sixty years later
And that very same
Life Alert commercial
Continues to run!
Except that
This time around
The target audience
Happens to be me
And all the other
Little shits
Of my generation
Who have
Now grown old and
Who are
For the most part
Scared shitless
Of one day falling
With no one around
To hear our pleas for help!

I believe this is
What is meant
When people talk about
Something that is called
Poetic justice

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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