Friday, June 11, 2010

poem of the day 06.11.10

everything in the coffee

we were immature
had nowhere to go in the city
nothing to do but drive around in cars
waiting on the night to end
we went to a diner along mcknight road
in the northern suburbs
it was where everyone went
we took up a table all night
usually three of us, sometimes a fourth
we drank coffee
and hoped that the high school girls
at the tables surrounding us were taking notice
notice of what?
guys in college not old enough to get beer
guys with jobs who couldn’t score in the world
driving around aimlessly
doing what they were getting tired of doing
on a saturday night
driving around killing american hours
which was sometimes all there was to do
it can still get that way
but we were immature
we took it out especially on calvin
calvin liked his coffee more than anyone
he liked to sit in the diner, drinking his coffee
looking at high school girls
even though they never looked back
for fun the rest of us would put things in calvin’s coffee
when he left the table to take a piss
or to try with one of the girls
we would put salt in his coffee
pepper, ketchup, those little packets of jelly
whatever we could get our hands on
we mixed it up very well
then we waited on calvin to come back and take a sip
it was the same show every week
calvin would come back to the table
he’d sigh, content from pissing
or he’d tell us some tall tale about one of the girls at the other table
how they were going to meet us at the bowling alley
(our other destination on those pathetic little evenings of youth)
then he would take his coffee cup
dangle it for a moment, as if he knew we were anticipating
then he would take a good pull on it
calvin’s face would contort
he’d swirl the stuff around in his mouth
the coffee, the salt, pepper, ketchup, and jelly
then he would spit it back out and look
at the table of us in disgust
of course we’d laugh
it was funny to us because we had nothing else
calvin would curse and make a big deal
the girls at the tables around us would look and laugh too
because they had nothing else to amuse them
on a saturday night in america
before the internet and smart phones
the waitress would come over and give calvin
another cup of coffee
she would pray for us to leave a decent tip
she would pray for none of us to hit on her
she would pray that we left soon enough
because she had the bar to get to
the place where the real action took place
the joints that were still out of our reach
on long weekend nights
good old calvin would guard his new cup of coffee with his life
there’d be no piss breaks during this cup
no flirting with ugly little high school girls
he’d sit there hunched over the drink
as if guarding a rare jewel
we’d laugh at this
eventually so would calvin
he’d laugh because he knew he was putting
on a show for all of us
the piss breaks, the hitting on the girls,
drinking down the shit we’d put in his coffee
he was putting on the greatest show
one where he was the star
and then the night wasn’t so lonesome and drawn out
we had something to talk about as we headed
toward the bowling alley
and it sustained us
at least for a little while.

2 comments:

Bukowski's Basement said...

This brought back so many memories man... Miss my diner days. Man, do I miss them.

And you're right... Our flipbook woulda been the shit. So very bummed about it.

John Grochalski said...

anthony...as much as i love the bars, i was just nostalgic for those days.