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Telephone Pole

Image by Nicholas Smale via Flickr

Cryptic contact
No rhyme or reason
What’s it really all about?

The call, a query
Inane conversation
Harmless seeming banter

“Hey, what’s shakin’?”
“How have you been?”
Sly code seeking new status

Nothing implied
No point or promise
Merely checking now and then

“Husband is well”
“Yeah, wife’s good too”
Nothing more to speak of

She knows she’s changed
That life long gone
Why cling to that persona?

He’s different too
Intent not known
What’s he seek to find there?

Farewell for now
“We’ll talk again soon
Catch you on the flip side”

“Sure, later babe
Must keep in touch”
Shades of disappointment

Beg your pardon?
What was the purpose?
As much to blame as he is

This trip they make
From time to time
Down a path that leads them nowhere

Sol "Going Home" Scene from Soylent Green

Lost . . . The reflection in the mirror was not significantly different than it had been a year ago.  A flaxen mane still framed her features.  Her face more square than round was still composed of a strong chin, straight, defined nose and high cheek bones.  Soft brown eyebrows still arched high above pale eyes.  Such a color that is rarely seen, they were still striking.  It was the eyes, however, that manifested the change.  Once full of laughter and life, now they held only resignation.  Not so long ago they had sparkled with the light of the unflappable spirit within, now flat and defeated.  The face of then and the face of now could be likened to the difference between the day and night skies . . . the basic structure of both the same, but the divergence undeniably palpable.

Lost . . . Of course, she knew where she was, but she no longer knew why.  She was not motivated to chase after the illusive answers that had driven her once mad life and given it some sense of purpose.  She perceived no path to follow.  She envisioned no dream to pursue.  She had only enough stamina left to place one foot in front of the other in a directionless progression.  Her wanderings – formerly an adventure, a quest of self realization, a gathering of experience and knowledge – had become an aimless passage.  She was nothing more than a ghost moving through the world . . . not connected, not connecting.

Lost . . . She no longer felt the wonder of discovery.  She no longer felt the desire to embrace her awareness.  There was no high.  There was no low.  Intensity had become apathy.  The departure of passion had leeched the color from her existence.  The vibrant hues of exploration were replaced by shades of melancholy, all shadows and obscurity.  No longer did bright white ideals and rainbows of philosophy hang in the blue sky of her thoughts and meditations.  Her contemplation had become monochromatic apprehension . . . a perpetual moonless night beleaguered by an impenetrable fog of desolation.  Her previously prized delight in what the next adventure would be was now a lament of what the next ordeal could possibly bring.

Lost . . . She had most certainly gone astray.  Somewhere in her life she had drifted into misery, but exactly how and when eluded her.   There was no single debacle that would have, in and of itself, plunged her into this disturbing chasm of despondency.  Like the slow steady drip of water upon a stone, adversity (drip), tragedy (drip), calamity (drip), catastrophe (drip) wore away her strength and had begun to eat into her very soul.  The acknowledgement of the situation did not provoke any action on her part.  The energy required to make any drastic change in her course had eroded as well.  She fully understood Sol Roth’s choice of “going home.”   Oh, what a comfort it would be to simply “go home.”

Work . . .

Communication
Most insincere

Trying to guess what
They want to hear

Need a job so
The game I play

Trying to guess what
I’m suppose to say

Grin and bear it
Smile through it all

No job too much or
Compensation small

Really don’t want them
These jobs I pursue

My God how I hate
The interview

Love . . .

Communication
Not quite sincere

Try to be all that
Will keep you near

Need to be loved so
The words I say

Wait in fear seeing
If you will stay

Hiding my tears
Sweet through it all

No abuse too much or
Recognition small

Want you to love me
The one I pursue

But this feels like
A job interview

Life . . .

Communication
Heart felt, sincere

Trying to do right
Try to see clear

Pray for redemption
Every new day

Look to tomorrow
How it will play

Put weakness aside
Enduring it all

No trial too much or
Temptation small

More worthy a life
All I pursue

Just to be ready for
St. Pete’s interview

The room was filled with the souvenirs gathered throughout a life of adventure.  The bullroarer collected in the Outback lay on the shelf next to the Tumi knife picked up in Cuzco.  The Tibetan Thangka hung near the window opposite a Baule mask from the Ivory Coast.  The Xianpgi set bartered for in the Pangiayan Market and bone china tea set acquired in Edinburgh graced the top of the Kotatsu table radiating warmth from the corner.  Numerous bits and pieces amassed wandering the world vied with one another for attention in the small hospice room dominated by the hospital bed which had only recently dwarfed its fragile occupant.

A man well-traveled had just died here . . . alone.  For all his exploits, he had never had the time to make the human connection.  Never did he experience the greatest of all adventures.    Never did he wait with baited breath for the birth of a child.  Never did he work a job he hated to provide for a family he loved more than himself.  Never did he return to the loving arms of a woman graying and past her prime.   Never did he stand proud at the graduation of a son or the wedding of a daughter.  Never did he cry silent in the night not knowing how he would be everything needed by those in his charge.   Never did he hear the words “I love you” from one he had given up his dreams for.

The young orderly stood surveying the mess he was packing up for disposal.  He searched for a picture, or a letter, or indication of any kind there was someone that would want to know a lost and lonely soul had left this world . . . anyone that would want something here to remember the sad, miserable man that had spent the last days of his life in this forlorn place.  The youth closed and taped each box of the now worthless hoard of memories unshared, feeling a sorrow for the adventurer once envied. 

The cell phone in his pocket rang.  It was his wife.  The baby was colicky.  His son’s soccer team had lost.  The electric bill was past due. She was frustrated and exhausted.  She waited for him to respond, but he was only now understanding the treasures of his own adventures.   All he could say as he choked back tears was “I love you.”

I feel the calming
Meant to quiet me
But I cannot be tame

I know the intent
Is for my own good
I’m just not the same

I see their fingers
Pointed straight at me
Still I reject their blame

I hear those whispering
Hushed behind my back
And hand them back their shame

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